Ambient-artist Castleview offers up the follow-up to the very impressive single-track album of ‘Oceanscape’, with his latest album effort titled ‘Empire’. The new album from Castleview comprises two recordings, both at half an hour in length, resulting in a very long and drawn out ambient album experience. Whilst very long, there’s an incredible amount on offer here, with Castleview exploring new territories in his music, both thematically and in terms of the musical techniques used to build up the music. ‘Empire’ is a very different album experience from Castleview, and one that is incredibly impressive in its own right.
‘Empire’ encompasses a world entirely of its own, conjuring up images of great societies that collapse and are rebuilt. Castleview adds in some new techniques to his already existing techniques, resulting in an album experience that feels very new in many respects, but also familiar, and something we can identify with Castleview’s output as an ambient musician. As an album, ‘Empire’ comes across as a very dark musical experience, sounding somewhat similar, in terms of expressing emotions, to Brian Eno’s ‘Ambient 4: On Land’ album. There’s a lot to enjoy here from Castleview, who seems to just be getting better and better with each and every release.
Castleview certainly has managed to create an impressive follow-up to ‘Oceanscape’, though whilst there’s a lot of very enjoyable elements to ‘Empire’, it does remain an album experience that is incredibly challenging listen, more-so than its predecessors. The contributing factors are not only the very long track-listing, but also the very dark nature of the tracks, which may not be as appealing to certain people. Whilst being challenging though, there’s something very interesting about the whole album experience, which comes across as a brilliant and creative expression of ambient music.
It seems Castleview is not only hitting great strides in ambient music, but is also doing so whilst creating completely new and different experiences with each release. ‘Empire’ feels every bit as strong as its predecessor, whilst offering an entirely new album experience. Castleview’s latest album might be a very long, dark and drawn out album experience, but those who enjoy experiencing ambient music that is incredibly expressive and creative will find a lot to enjoy from Castleview’s latest release, which certainly comes across as one of the composer’s strongest releases in his current discography.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- New World Emerging
Castleview’s latest album ‘Empire’ is out now.