Johannes de Silentio - Ofrena Vernal

Released: July 3

Ofrena Vernal is one of those albums that likes to severely bend the definition of ambient music. Rather than the soft pads and gentle melodies one may expect, what we get is a dark and somewhat tribal-sounding experience. Through four tracks, we experience long droning sounds that seem to have no end alongside repetitive percussive textures that enable something of a trance-like state. Much of this album makes me feel like this would be the soundtrack in my head during a particularly rough Ayahuasca trip, one that I'm certain would feel particularly refreshing afterwards. 

Opening up with "Gwiddonot," we are lead in with a solid rhythm played on what sounds like a hand drum recorded a bit hot or maybe a little over-saturated. This develops further into a long and deep drone that occupies the background as we get more dynamic sounds playing in the forefront. "La Sociedad de los Bosques" follows in the same fashion with even more percussion, including something like a tambourine and an incredibly ominous bell tolling as it pans from left to right over and over, creating an immersive effect that pulls you further in. It is not until the final track that the percussion disappears entirely. It is then replaced by an eerily treated vocal of a man seemingly reciting from a book of some kind. I'm not well versed enough in any other language to determine what he is saying, however, I can definitely say it sound hypnotic while also being slightly menacing. It is quite an end to this distressing yet psychedelic experience, as if it exorcising demons I was unaware existed.    


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