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FUNERARY CALL - The Mirror Reversed II

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Cyclic Law 77th Cycle
Release Year: 2015
Note: second part of the MIRROR REVERSED, examining the other side of the mirror, a unusual dark ambient one-tracker [46+ min.] with surprising silent moments, and a very slow evolution.. "Its a place of alien mystery, surely, and full of things-and non-things-that are utterly unlike anything witnessed before..." [Heathen Harvest]
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"The spectral second and final installment of Funerary Calls The Mirror Reversed tumbles deeper through the Setian tunnels, leading the way to the vast and mysterious Other Side. Continuing from where his initial movement left us, Harlow MacFarlane once again summons the tones and auras of his Qliphothic interpretation. It is a serpentine force extending from a churning black vortex lined with crystalline fetters. A dark and textured voyage through the shards of the shattered black surface that once reflected the illusory. The 46-minute meditation ebbs and flows through ambient pulsations of fear, awakening, and the unknowable. Each segmented chapter is a dynamic representation of the individual demonic forces at work, bringing us closer to the roiling waters of formlessness. The forbidden freedom of the Other Side awaits.

Edition of 500 copies in 6 panel Digi Sleeve. 1 Track. Running Time 46.02 " [label info]


"Throughout history, tales abound about the lure and mysticism of the mirror. Its reflective nature has given it quite a widespread cultural reputation as doorway, medium, and prognosticator. Some say the mirror is a glimpse into another dimension where a perfect double of each of us lurks, burning with jealousy, waiting for the right moment to leak through and reclaim the identity we have stolen. And everyone has, at some point, switched off the bathroom light and chanted Bloody Mary.

Harlow MacFarlane has his version too. His dark ambient project Funerary Call has released a two-volume examination of the mirror, titled The Mirror Reversed. The first volume was released on Cyclic Law in 2013, and now Funerary Call has concluded the experiment with The Mirror Reversed II, a forty-six-minute single-track album containing an assortment of drones and atmospheres that are intended to symbolize the duality on both sides of the looking glass and how it affects each of us.

A one-track dark ambient album is nothing new, but Funerary Calls approach is notably different in structure. Rather than a single unbroken album that flows ceaselessly from start to end, The Mirror Reversed II is largely a collection of short bursts bracketed by moments of complete silence. Youll hear a distant rumble that morphs into a Vangelis-style analog blare, only to hear it dissipate into nothing until the next pitched whine emerges from the void. Its an interesting formula, and one that keeps the listener guessing at what might be just beyond the horizon, while also allowing MacFarlane to show his technical and sound-design chops. Hes got a stunning array of tricks up his sleeve and displays them with careful deliberation; its not until the album is over that you realize the sheer scope of the tools at his disposal. Buzzes, clinks, sweeps, tones, synth chords, whistles: theyre all present and accounted for, and all have plenty of virtual space in which to stretch their analog and digital limbs.

The additional effect is more aesthetic. As I listened, I began to visualize a journey through the mirror into whatever lay beyond. What I got was a series of close encounters with phenomena or entities taken straight from the realm of dreams, separated by moments where I drifted through quiet emptiness. Were these encounters embodiments of my own psyche, or from the psyche of others? Were the others visitors like myself, or residents of this strange realm? I could only speculate.

The Mirror Reversed II is not ambient from the darkest hidden corners of existence. Its a place of alien mystery, surely, and full of thingsand non-thingsthat are utterly unlike anything witnessed before, but theres no sense of peril. Rather there is only strangeness, in myriad forms. Dark ambient enthusiasts will hear touches of Phaenon, SleepResearch_Facility, Inade, and other familiar artists; MacFarlane isnt breaking any new genre ground here, but thats of minor consequence. What matters is his theme and how he approaches it.

As the album progressed, I noticed it did change its formula in subtle ways. The series of short processed drones evened out into a bed of buried gurgles and deep rumbles rather than the silence-drone-silence template of the early moments. Funerary Call has made a slow-moving album, but one full of variety and anticipation. One cant help but wonder what odd beast MacFarlane is next going to pull out of his proverbial hat. The variety did lessen towards the end, especially during a drawn-out stretch of swampy bubbling about two-thirds of the way in, but things righted themselves soon enough.

The Mirror Reversed II is a compilation of dark ambient haiku sourced from the other side of reality. In the hands of a lesser talent, a concept such as this could have been a muddled mess, but MacFarlane has been at his craft for too long to fall victim to such basic mistakes. While the album does run the risk of losing the immersion factor for some listeners who may not buy into the somewhat unconventional structure, The Mirror Reversed II may, on the other hand, make you believe in all those legends of yore." [Heathen Harvest]