Album Review of Beyond Earth – Bowed Dronescapes by Scott Cole

Scott Cole is a versatile composer whose prior releases have spanned ambient, acoustic and world fusion styles of music. On his latest album, titled Beyond Earth – Bowed Dronescapes, Cole creates droning atmospheric passages among six compositions utilizing NS Design Electric-Upright bass, 4-string bass, French and German grip bows, and sound processing.

The opening piece, “Bass Drone One – Earth Force”, commences with deeply oscillating tones and darkly thick textures that seemingly resonate from the earth’s very core amid swirling, overarching timbres. “Bass Drone Two – Soft Light” ensues with eerie metallic wind effects comprised of lower and mid-range tones, which seemingly evoke blackening clouds signaling an approaching storm as they move slowly across a barren landscape. “Bass Drone Three – Da Vortex” follows with a stationary hum as I’m reminded of intense summer heat and mirages in the distance. My favorite piece on the album is “Bass Drone Four – Dark Energy Drift”, which elicits a foreboding nocturnal essence. Conveying observation of the night sky, chattering textures backlight a fixed drone as slithering timbres stream intermittently overhead. “Bass Drone Five – Polyphemus” seemingly mimics that of boiling hot magma, effectively bringing-to-mind volcanic lava and rock formations. Concluding the album is perhaps the darkest piece, “Bass Drone Six – Thunderbird Flight”, which imparts an industrial and machinery-like environment with its low engine rumble.

Vividly geological, Beyond Earth – Bowed Dronescapes is an intensely grounding sonic immersion. Essentially one of the better drone albums I’ve heard, the music is intrinsically dark but not inaccessibly so, yet will likely appeal to a niche audience of listeners who enjoy minimal, ominous soundscapes! ~Candice Michelle

Listen and purchase at Bandcamp


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