Various ‎– The Throne Of Drones

Sombient ‎– ASP 0952, Asphodel ‎– ASP 0952
CD, Compilation

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Robert Rich The Simorgh Sleeps On Velvet Tongues
Zurna [Sorna], Gong, Percussion [Ceramic Resonators], Voice, Loops [Feedback], Electronics [Subsonics], Composed By, Performer – Robert Rich
2 Ray Guillette Mobius III 3:25
3 Steve Roach In The Catacombs (Again)
Instruments [All] – Steve Roach
4 Iso Ambient Orchestra Smudgeon
Effects [Alterations] – Sound Traffic ControlPerformer – Adam Gates, Michael Belfer, Naut Humon
5 Xopher Davidson Pool Of Mercury 5:15
6 Vidna Obmana Equal Distance
Electronics, Loops, Tape [Processed], Rainstick, Xylophone, Vocals [Chant], Pipe [Northern Sonoran Dreampipe], Composed By, Arranged By, Performer [Played By] – Vidna Obmana
7 Greg Lenczycki Retina Volt Stream
Electronics [Electronic Multiplier] – Xopher Davidson
8 Jeff Greinke Low Ceiling 4:45
9 Rhythm & Noise A Filament In Strata
Mixed By [Extraction Mix] – Naut Humon
10 Biosphere En Trance
Producer – Gier Jenssen*
11 David Darling Etude For T.O.D.
Cello, Keyboards – David DarlingMixed By [Plundermix] – Sound Traffic ControlProducer – Naut Humon
12 Maryanne Amacher Sound Characters
Music By – M.A. Amacher*
13 Naut Humon Le Segue
Electronics [Digital Condensation] – Mixture 151

Companies, etc.



Sub-title on front artwork and spines :
"A Sombient Collection".

Sombient and Asphodel labels appear on both disc label and rear artwork.

Printed in Canada.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 7 5302-70952-2 0
  • Matrix / Runout: ASPH 0952 · :MASTERED: :BY NIMBUS:
  • Mastering SID Code: IFPI L125


Reviews Show All 2 Reviews

Add Review



April 4, 2010

I wouldn't say that this is (was) fresh new ground; what it is, however, is extremely well-performed dark ambient. Ambient as in background noise, rather than mood-setting. Several of the tracks are credibly done, but leave precious little imprint: outside of some extremely unpleasant hissing, Retina Volt Stream, for example, is minor key and long drone. Smudgeon reminds me more of a malfunctioning PS2 soundtrack than a "live, two-minute mystery". Low Ceiling and Etude for T.O.D. are too-well chilled to merit more than playing once, their development stifled by a predilection for somnambulism. Sound Characters gets lost in its own self-indulgent cd-skipping noises, then inexplicably decides to tail off for more than 1:45 (which is hardly commanding or merited, like a bad play deciding for multiple bows to the audience).

Some moments do excite, though: The Simorgh Sleeps on Velvet Tongues is, contrary to the title, awake and alive with menace, a sorna echoing like a muzzein calling not to prayer but rather bloody submission. At 10:14, you feel it has taken in the whole of the occult sacrifice it plays out, and kept you rapt the entire time. A Filament in Strata replicates a lost bit from the Bladerunner soundtrack. En Trance, among Biosphere's most warm works ironically, is a welcomed respite from the dirge-y atmosphere that prevails on this album. Naut Humon's Le Segue is, perhaps, the highlight, where voices, cries, animalian utterances and minimal percussion come together to create an otherworldly imprint on your conscious.


January 17, 2010
edited over 8 years ago
Throne of Drones: A Sombient Collection is indeed truly “Sombient”. I first listened to this album when I was reading a very spooky novel called Swan Song, and I succeeded in getting myself thoroughly freaked out. The music is quite minimalist and very abstract and yet, it succeeds in sucking the listener into some very disturbing dreamscapes.
For a compilation, the release is surprisingly cohesive and one could almost imagine that all the tracks were being performed by the same artist. The atmosphere evoked is both ancient, and futuristic. It transcends science fiction or fantasy. One could easily tailor it to the soundtrack of a movie about druidic sacrifice, or one about cyborges, but the consistent theme running throughout the compilation is one of ineffable otherworldliness. That is, ineffable to the logical mind. The conscious mind is lulled to sleep, while the subconscious is screaming that something is horribly wrong. After listening to Throne of Drones three times, and completing several chapters of my book, I went to sleep with an inexplicable fear of drowning. A fear I do not normally suffer.
It is possible I was affected by the sense of vastness, which the compilation creates. This could easily be interpreted as outer space, or deep sea, but for me it was somewhat beyond either.
While the compositions on this release are fairly simple, (it is after all mostly drones) the artistry has been handled with the utmost delicacy. It is as though, each shift in the nuances or timber of the drones, has been calculated to illicit a response from the reptilian part of the brain. I can’t pick out a favourite track, as they are all fairly similar, but all definitely good. That said, I enjoyed fantasizing about what a Simorgh may look like, and I thought that Xopher Davidson’s interpretation of what a pool of mercury sounds like, was rather brilliant.
My only advice is, don’t listen to it while reading a horror novel, or maybe do, if that’s your thing. I found my reaction to the subtleties of the piece quite visceral, and wished I’d had something or someone to cuddle afterward.