Review: Luasa Raelon “The Poison City” CD

This latest full-length release sees the ever prolific David Reed back once again with his main project to deliver five lengthy tracks of increasingly powerful dark ambient material that continues to impress me more with each subsequent release. First up herein is "The Terrible Place", unleashing nearly 10 minutes of subtly melodic low-end drones and menacing textures cascading across the core foundation in the form of machinated hums and whirrs and various little percussive scrapings or rumblings at various instances throughout, making for a consistent and brooding opener that really sets high standards for the four tracks to come. "Toxin Industries" follows in fairly solid form, opening with a reverberated loop before some windy midrange starts to settle into place over another throbbing drone that quickly takes over with its ethereal sensibilities as more machinated types of textures bounce back and forth/in and out as the sparser compositions starts to carry out its 7+ minute running time to varying degrees of volume and density. "Hunted" then takes a slightly more stripped down stance with more controlled vibrations and similar uses of fading/panning, but the overall sense of movement is a little more subdued in this outing, though towards the end the consistency is broken up (in a good way) by an unexpected burst of raw distortion that's heavy on the fluttering movement and churning low-end (though restrained in volume so as not to cause a hitch in the continuity of the selection). Up next is the absolutely massive 14-minute crawl of "The Vortex" - immediately referencing the musical types of drones first presented in the opening track as smoother dark ambient currents swell forth and dominate the bulk of the piece. Near the halfway mark more chirping bits of restrained distorted flutterings sink into the lower levels for brief spurts, but for the most part this is a fairly hypnotic dark ambient soundscape that's among the finer points of the disc. Closing it out is "The Aftermath", a similarly hypnotic lull that's even more fluid and sinister in its use of chilling little melodic tones and throbbing undercurrents that pulse along throughout nearly nine minutes of murky atmospherics. The disc is housed in a standard jewel case with glossy printing and a consistent appearance that looks quite nice. All of the photographs are of dingy, abandoned industrial structures (but not in a generic sense) that have been tinted green to suggest some sort of polluted atmosphere - all of which is quite in keeping with the title of the record (as well as a number of the songs). I have to say, while two years ago Luasa Raelon was merely promising to my ears, these days things have progressed to a far stronger level, and along with "Consumed Within the Years of Lead", "The Poison City" marks a significant sense of strength for the project that I can only hope and assume will continue to expand as time continues. Nicely done.

Running time - 47:55, Tracks: 5
[Notable tracks: The Terrible Place, The Vortex]
Luasa Raelon -