Andrey novozhilov The only truth

Andrey Novozhilov - The Only Truth


Nearly two hours of captivating Ambient music somewhere in the wake of Brian Eno´s genre-defining album 46 years ago where he coined the idea Ambient.

Andrey Novozhilov is widely known for his gifted talents as a guitarist and sound artist from the bands TRNA, Olhava, and Reverb on Repeat. He also has many self-releases under his name. His musical multiverse seems as endless as his creativity. TRNA and Olhava are metal-related Blackgaze bands with distorted, dense, and melodic swelling songs that reach for your innermost emotions. On all releases of these bands, there are always Ambient parts within songs or interludes between tracks created by guitars or synths. On this new album, Novozhilov concentrates on the Ambient part and created incredibly mesmerizing music.

Synths and sound effects have been an important part of metal since the second wave of Black Metal got wind with Mayhem´s Deathcrush where Conrad Schnitzler, of Tangerine Dream, composed the first track on the EP. Some original Black Metal bands have even ventured successfully into different electronic genres with great success, here Ulver must be mentioned as a prime example.

Why all this rummaging about synths and sound effects? Well, it is just to show that in the realm revolving around Black Metal and Post-Metal synths and sound effects are not uncommon and it is common that gifted musicians like Novozhilov want to try out the possibilities and avenues Ambient opens for their creative outlet and share it with us who are always touched by his music.

In the liner notes of Ambient 1: Music for Airports, the first genre album by Eno, he wrote that the music should ”induce calm and a space to think”. This is the crucial point of Novozhilov´s new album; it does that - it is music for contemplation and meditative reflection. Such creations are wide open for interpretation and become very personal for the listener. Although each track has a title that might give some direction of where the sound artist and composer wants your mind to flow to, but listening to this expansive music I can guarantee that your introspectiveness will take its own unexpected ways.

Even when the distorted music is raging on in his other band, there is always the subtle shifts in the flow; a minimalistic change that adds to the always present melody. It is the same on this album: each track collects layers of sounds that fuse together, flow apart, search each other and form some distant elusive melodic soundscape.

You encounter the ever soothing atmosphere on the first track ” Suburban Train” after short joyous children´s voices as the sound seeps in and begins to take the form of something that is an extremely slow, yearning, pulsating main theme surrounded by comfortable static with a sonorous deep sound carrying the sonics on its back.

The music on this album is of course not what is scientifically called white noise, but it certainly has the deep sense of noises like that. White noise is what scientists call broadband sounds or noises that drown out all other noises and therefore has a calming effect and leaves you undisturbed. While not yet impossible to prove, it has some effect on deep sleep and helps babies sleep. Novozhilov´s music will have the same effect, even if it is more varied than white noise.

The music on the tracks is very layered and rises in ebb and flow, immerses each other to design a whole musical soundscape. Between the layers you might sense a whiff of an elusive melodic theme that is teasing from the corner of the musical space each track makes out. But you will not be able to grab it because another sound emerges to shift your thoughts.

Novozhilov has always been a master of making makes themes that captivate you and on this album he develops atmospheric soundscapes that feel warm and desolate, soothing even when, at times, it carries some brooding and longing within. Like the track ”Years and Miles Appart” that opens with one main sound before a lighter element emerges subtly changing the atmosphere of the music until a third one rises that seems like a choir blending in. All this is fused together as the music expands very slowly. And further out an echo seems to be forming and some static is in the corner while a brighter, more yearning part is spreading out in the atmosphere of the soundscape, repeating itself until the fused amalgam disappears behind the horizon.

Well, this dissecting of a track is not fair, because each song has its holistic approach and is made up of the layers that melt together as a whole for the listener. And here we are at a crucial point of ambient music; every listener interprets the music differently. Each listener sees different images in their mind when listening to this kind of tranquil music. Each appearing sound diverts the listener’s contemplation into new directions, often unexpectedly triggered by the sound artist’s soft nudge. It might be completely different from what he imagined. It is like poetry - each person interprets it differently based on the context of their mind.

This is the wonderful core of Novozhilov´s achievement with his music in general, but especially with this release which is an emotional full-hearted groundbreaking effort into Ambient music.