Netherworld Alchemy of Ice

Netherworld Alchemy of Ice
7
Alessandro Tedeschi runs Rome's Glacial Movements imprint, a self-described purveyor of "glacial and isolationist ambient" music. As Netherworld, Tedeschi takes his label's frosty philosophy even further. Alchemy of Ice is a feast of benumbing sonic textures unfolding at the pace of an advancing glacier. Piercing beauty envelopes these six extended, drone-filled passages, akin to the playful rays of sun that bounce across an ice-covered body of water in the wintertime. Gorgeous church bells toll to infinity on "Alchemy of Snow," while "Icepulse" attempts to hide a delicate melody beneath a blizzard of ambiguous tones. The effective use of field recordings — some sourced from a cave in Lazio, Italy — anchors the music to the material world, a facet that's sometimes lacking in modern ambient music. Alchemy of Ice ultimately succeeds by emphasizing the comely aspects of its subject and not leaving the listener out in the cold. (Glacial Movements)