Review: Secret Druid Society - Restless (2010)


artist: Secret Druid Soci­ety
release: Rest­less
format: CD
year of release: 2010
label: First Fallen Star
dur­a­tion: 52:43

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

The Secret Druid Soci­ety is an enig­matic Aus­tralian pro­ject - mem­bers undis­closed - ded­ic­ated to dark ambi­ent sound­scapes that con­jure up feel­ings of wil­der­ness and isol­a­tion. This album, Rest­less, was released in a beau­ti­ful digi­pak by First Fallen Star records.

The dark tracks on this album sound quite empty and spa­cious, and they describe the land­scape of our planet after all human life is gone. It is des­ol­ate, but breath­ing and mov­ing at its own subtle pace. The music of these places is devoid of con­ven­tional melody, con­sist­ing only of the dron­ing of the winds, oceanic waves, and the shift­ing of the stones.

An admir­able cre­ation of atmo­sphere can be found here, but sadly enough the music only rarely offers enough vari­ation or struc­ture to reward close listen­ing. Most of it seems not only bereft of human life, but also of human interest, fad­ing into the back­ground read­ily. As such, Rest­less is more like a back­drop for other thoughts and activ­it­ies, more than a work that com­mands atten­tion by closely describ­ing an unknown and poten­tially inter­est­ing world.

A pity, for this is an oth­er­wise very nice release, with a good atmo­sphere and solid con­cept, topped off by a won­der­fully laid out book­let and pack­aging, designed by Eclipse Media from source images by vari­ous pho­to­graph­ers. It is an inter­est­ing album for lov­ers of min­im­al­istic drone and dark ambi­ent, but I hope that future releases will have a little more sub­stance.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Deser­ted World (4:43)
2. Rest­less (Fore­bod­ing) (11:13)
3. Lonely Moon (3:47)
4. Pho­bia (Stones Are Mov­ing) (5:37)
5. Rest­less (Night Is Here) (14:25)
6. Dawn Over The Deser­ted World (5:25)
7. End­less Ice Plains (7:33)