Enigmatic London producer Dark0 is a pioneering artist within the ambient drill era, and his name has been synonymous with defining the underground genre across Europe over the past few years. On his debut album Eternity, he further demonstrates his ability to craft anthemic and ambient club music across nine ethereal and shimmering tracks.
Eternity is driven by its delicate piano melodies, compelling string arrangements, larger-than-life explosions of hyper-charged bass, soaring trance-fused toplines, and otherworldly vocal features which are provided by fellow YEAR0001 artists Merely and Malibu. The conceptual album plays out like the soundtrack to a futuristic fantasy Japanese role-playing video game, and this is reflected through the accompanying visuals and extensive imagery surrounding the album and its release.
The videos and illustrations are courtesy of Sybil Montet and Conor Chignoli respectively, and their artwork successfully evokes intangible, abstract themes such as eternal bonds, destiny, and fate. Dark0’s music itself also manages to communicate and manifest these sentiments through its sonic resonance and heavenly nature. Take the opening track of the album, which happens to also be the title track, with its harsh, grating synths and crackling, glitchy tones bass which completely transform into smooth and angelic melodies by the end of the song to accompany the soaring high-pitched echoes of “Hold me now”.
Nova Bridge is an entirely instrumental track, led by a beautifully simplistic piano melody which gradually increases in volume, intensity, and complexity until gentle strings begin to weave into the background of the song. It is a haunting ballad, with each sonic element portraying a deep and raw emotion without the need for any words. These emotions would be suited to sound-tracking a moment of peace or harmony within the journey of a video-game character, in which they have found comfort and solace or when they have reached their final destination.
After opening with an alluring spoken-word poem, the track layers a mesmerising build-up of synths with a pulsating, pounding drum beat and euphoric vocals
A highlight of the album is Shining Star, which was released a month in advance of the album with an accompanying visual created in 3D software platform Cinema 4D. The visual captures the themes of hero archetypes and bonds of eternal friendship, which corresponds with the aesthetic and imagery of the album perfectly. It depicts three animated characters in the midst of an intense battle scene within an iridescent and magical RPG-esque realm. After opening with an alluring spoken-word poem, the track layers a mesmerising build-up of synths with a pulsating, pounding drum beat and euphoric vocals, whisking the listener away on what feels like a journey through the depths of time and space.
Elsewhere on the album, zeroGen begins with a chaotic build-up of expeditious, accelerating synths and reverberating vocals before the layers are stripped back to reveal a serene and tranquil piano melody. The following track Infinite Edge culminates in a sudden explosive breakdown of skittering percussion and grating, clashing, metallic-sounding synths. The penultimate track Wait For Me features pitch-shifted, almost hyperpop-esque vocal repetitions, the content of which is somewhat difficult to interpret, whilst album closer Promise is driven by a piano melody with sharp, distinctive keys which are played in triplets, layered with wailing vocalisations.
Dark0 leaves the listener with a lot to digest on Eternity. Each intricately complex track is packed with never-ending layers of sound, and with each listen you will inevitably identify and unpack new elements of Dark0’s impressive and limitless soundscape. The album is a worthwhile listen for anyone who is disposed to futuristic, progressive, and experimental electronica. Its story may only be a narrative that is fabricated around a fictional video game rather than a legitimate franchise, but Eternity still manages to effectively immerse the listener into an intriguing, hypnotic, and enthralling illusory world.
Featured image courtesy of Linda Valenziano, permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article images courtesy of @dark0_ldn via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.
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