Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.
Terrordyne’s The Vanishing drowns in shadow, doom and feelings of creeping fear. All of those unsettling sensations reach their grasping tentacles out and draw the listener into a weird, deadly sonic world. This is an album that conveys the constant feeling of being on edge as terror closes in from all sides.
The first element that effectively contributes to the ominous shadows that fill The Vanishing is the bass. It has a rough, aggressive, Cyclopean feeling to it along with an extreme depth that breathes like the stale air of a crypt through the music and washes it all in darkness.
Another strong reason for The Vanishing’s sensations of looming danger and constant dread are all of the high sounds that fill the album. There’s a palpable nervous tension thrumming through the elevated musical elements that makes me feel like some awful, nameless terror is about to leap from an obscured corner and seize me.
I also enjoy the moments of contrast that Terrordyne inserts into the music on this album. They add to the horror filled atmosphere of the album by using gentler sounds over the jagged edges underneath to increase the sensation of intense fear that permeates the tracks of the album.
My Favourite Tracks Analyzed
Here is a look at my favourite tracks.
“The Vanishing” breathes into shadowy existence with a piercing high note on a bell-like synth crying out over jagged bass seething with inky darkness. A tension-filled pulse of pinging, metallic sound swirls in a nervous pattern over the hard-hitting bass and hollow drums with depth to them. I enjoy how the synth pattern is tight and threatening, roaming through the track in a worried line.
The track flows into empty air while the tense lead synth pattern and rising chords tangle together, adding to the feeling of imminent danger as that powerful drumbeat and coldly shining chords rise up in a pattern that reaches out with grasping, skeletal fingers before the high roving line of sound fades away.
A hollow, open void of cavernous sound, sepulchral bass and a slow, vocal synth ‘chant’ start “Instigator.“ A twisted vocal sample echoes into the void as the pounding drum and bass beat swells. A string-like, glimmering synth that plays a pattern of minor key notes adds a sensation of creeping dread that I quite like.
Shining synths leap through the music over the snarling bass and punchy drums, playing a melodic pattern that seethes with menace. A wide open flow of trumpeting, metallic sounds carries a spinning, worried pattern of arpeggios over the shadowy bass and slamming drums move through. The track fades to air, distant agitated sounds and finally silence.
“Continuum” kicks off with serrated bass and an elevated chip sound that move through a cavernous soundscape. The chip sound is distant as a powerfully pulsing drive of shifting synth bass comes in, sliding over hollow drums. I am drawn to the way the computerized sound adds a feeling of pressing, tight fear over its strongly throbbing sonic background.
The throbbing pulse shapes the track and the hardness of it increases the track’s threatening feeling. A wash of twisting sound ramps up the feeling of impending doom even more as distorted pipe organ notes shift and a high, nervous sound flits over that punching drum and bass heartbeat. All of the musical elements in this track paint an image of a deadly, disturbing situation.
The classic “Exorcist” movie theme is given extra evil and an added sense of supernatural omen by Terrordyne. Biting, razor edges of synth cut over a round, thick pulse of Stygian sound that carries chiming synth high above it.
The thick weight of the drums and the deliberate pace of the harsh synth pulse add to the overwhelming feeling of rising dread. Warmer pipe organ notes only make the shadows feel deeper as everything is lost in a thick wall of synth sound.
“Full Throttle” rushes into existence with a charging, oscillating pulse of gut-punching bass and joined by sweeping sawtoothed sounds supported by a hollow drumbeat. A shifting, bouncing synth dances out in wandering, rapid patterns over the aggressive sounds that give it a powerful shove forward.
After a brief, broken pulse of high sound the track gave me an enjoyable uppercut of energy. A shuddering, shifting synth line worms over the surging sounds under it. The synth line flutters and travels in worried patterns of sound before the drums go full on again. The elevated wriggling lines of sound ramp up the nervous feeling as the track keeps accelerating onward to a conclusion.
“Silence So Loud”
A yearning, aching synth moving into an echoing void, chiming sounds full of fragility and a sweep of shadowed wind open “Silence So Loud.” The drums and bass smack in hard to pulsate with a sharp edge as a computerized sound floats through in a minor key wash of lost, distant sound.
The roaming sound feels disconnected and effectively contrasts with the solid throb of the beat. The delicate, flickering synth line moves through again as the high notes circle over the top and a swelling feeling of extending sound moves through. The beat roils far below the elevated sounds as all of the musical elements move into humming silence.
Terrordyne creates music that is intensely full of ambiance, atmosphere and mood on The Vanishing. All of the sensations of Stygian black voids, terrors that should remain locked away and creeping danger wash together to produce a lacerating album of endless horror.