01 These Old Scars
03 Individually They Are Weak
04 Taken Into The Shadowy Land
05 Under Surface
06 The Glass Room
08 Experiments In Cold Blood
09 Carved And Left To Die
10 Dead Bodies Floating On Filthy Waters
11 The Fall Into Oblivion
12 Open Wounds
13 A Retained Mental Impression
Immundus is a ghost/horror ambient one-man project created by Bruno Duarte, an artist of Portuguese origin currently residing in Norway. “Eye of the Serpent” is his third full-length release, the previous two being “Haunted Memories” (2009) and “Torments” (2008). He has also released two singles (“Elapidae V” , 2009 and “The Hermit”, 2009) and two EPs (“The Method Learned II” , 2009 and “Poemia” 2010, both on Hypnotic Dirge (http://www.hypnoticdirgerecords.com/ )). You have most likely guessed by now that the main focus of his work is that especial and unfortunately somewhat rare brand of dark ambient, which is horror ambient. Every time a memorable album in this wonderful sub-genre comes into my hands I wonder, why we don’t get more of this type of music. Surely, being scared out of your wits is as fun for everyone else as it is for me?
“Eye of the Serpent” adds new elements to the concept of Immundus’ previous album, “Haunted Memories”, going deeper into the subject of mental disease, serial killing, torture and horror ambience. As Bruno states in one of his interviews, the tracks in this album are given from a subjective point of view – not merely that of the serial killer, but also of his victims. This may be of great help in the interpretation of the titles. For example “Individually They Are Weak” refers to the serial killer preying on his victims, and finding them more vulnerable while alone. “Carved And Left To Die”, “Taken Into The Shadowy Land”, “Fearful”, “Under Surface” may also be descriptions of the situation the victims find themselves in. Struggling to find hope in the midst of their unspeakable terrors, they grasp whatever impression they can of their external surroundings. On the other hand “Dead Bodies Floating On Filthy Waters”, “Experiments In Cold Blood” (my favourite track of the album, where the predominant sound of slicing and electrocuting flesh really sends chills down one’s spine), “A Retained Mental Impression” are the killer’s impressions, and give a subtle hint on how he perceives what he does.
Having been given an adequate amount of clues – in fact just enough to get you going – you are free to enjoy the album’s minimally dark, scrupulously planned soundscapes, and immerse yourself in its deliciously frightening atmosphere, putting your imagination to full use in order to create the surroundings you most prefer. Musically speaking, “Eye of the Serpent” is reminiscent of Atrium Carceri, in its display of the same mastery of dark ambience, and the creation of a thoroughly elaborate concept environment, emerging in stages through the tracklist. A Murder Of Angels also come to mind, due to their free-moving, crushing terror of ghostly whispers, haunting repetitions and indiscriminate eerie sounds. Immundus adds to the mix a distinct electronic precision, much resembling the cold, clean cut of our self-taught surgeon’s scalpel, and a clever economy of sound verging towards the minimal at some points. This characteristic combination of concept, atmosphere, precision, menacing innuendos, electronics and occasional minimalism result to a “signature sound” of sorts, thus making Immundus a project with its own presence and personality. You will know what it is once you hear it, as it never fails to make its mark.
Whether you enjoy the fictional side of horror, or you are inclined towards the factual side of the horrors within human nature, “Eye of the Serpent” will undoubtedly prove to be a satisfying experience. You can fill the gaps with images from your favourite films, books, visual artists, your most terrible nightmares or the details from the deeds of gruesome serial killers, that you always pictured but never really knew. How far can the terror go? The only limit is your imagination. Turn off the lights, let your mind wander in the darkness, and give yourself an unforgettably good scare!