Review: Somnarium – Frost

Label: Earth Mantra
Catalog No: earman160

Somnarium is the work of Michael Meara’s ambient orchestral movements. His goal is to create soundscapes for sleep states and various forms of inner journeys. This album is very atmospheric but not in an engaging way. It is something to have on in the background. I don’t recommend it for a conscious state. It is best played while meditating or while trying to achieve an subconscious state of mind. It is difficult to consider this an album in the normal sense; it’s more of a series of orchestral movements for the soul.

There is not much emotional expression in these pieces. They were inspired by isolation and human endurance during the polar expeditions of the early 20th Century. There is a sense of loneliness but it is not dark enough to truly express the isolation felt by someone in the middle of nowhere. The album starts out very dull with a long monotonous track. Repetition is essential to drone works but there still needs to be enchantment to keep someone listening. As the album continues the pieces get progressively more stimulating, like an advancement to a higher state of consciousness.

An album of this degree is meant to be played while attaining spiritual fulfillment. If listened to the way it was made for, it can help you drift along your brain waves and awaken your senses to a more aware world.

Standout track: The Cape
Rating: 3.5 stars

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