SINIUS - The Poltergeist Syndrome [album] REVIEW by 'Beyond the Below'
Updated: Feb 8
Inspired by the poltergeist-house based in mississippi
“Channel”, the opening track, starts off with rustling sounds of walking outside while the raining starts to slowly fade in. Interestingly enough the effects used on the walking sounds manage to make an impression of rattling bones. Being a coincidence or not it really gave me some shivering. Throughout the album, the drones and pads are subtle and hazy, almost dreamlike in nature. While listening to this album my eyes closed I got these mental images of varying bluish colours and chilly, rainy nights during spring.
Anyway, “Channel” and the two songs following it feel like a beginning for a horrifying supernatural experience to come. It’s like the protagonist of the album (if there even is one) is doing some mundane chores around the house, or just relaxing after a long day. Suddenly there are some figures, silhouettes in the corner of sight, odd noises coming outside and that feeling you are not alone even though you are the only living thing around. Surely, it was just your mind playing tricks but still you become concerned.
As we all know dreaming is most vivid during REM sleep. Keeping this in mind while listening to the fourth song, appropriately titled as “REM Sleep”, I had this feeling that the poltergeist somehow tries to communicate with the protagonist via dreams. Or maybe it tries to drive the inhabitant insane by disturbing sleep. I’m not sure if it is a field recording or not, but there is this sound that resembles screaming of children. Screaming as if those kids were afraid of something. At this point I have to say that the amount of details in the overall sound design on “The Poltergeist Syndrome” is very inspiring and makes every second of listening worthwhile. In addition it makes it easier to let the imagination flow wildly, fleshing out the themes of the album.
Moving onwards; considering the titles of the two songs coming up next, I couldn’t keep myself from searching some background information. Sensory deprivation, or perceptual isolation if you will, was a familiar concept for me already. Simply put, it is reducing/removing one or more of your senses leading to manifold results from relaxation to hallucinations and depression. How this correlates with the story of the album I’m not entirely sure, but as a wild guess I’d say that the protagonist tries to reason the odd experiences with sensory deprivation.
Next we are introduced with the term The Apport Theory, which actually is a phenomena associated with poltergeist activity. During this paranormal event one can see an article moving by itself or emanating from an unknown source. From this point, all the way to the end of the album, the overall mood changes drastically. The atmosphere turns into a more malignant and menacing one. The mental image is now as black as possible, the rain has turned into a storm and the wind makes skin hurt. The poltergeist won’t hold back anymore; this is a full frontal attack. Soundwise we are treated with white noise flavored industrial sounds, familiar to dark ambient and such. This evolution in sound and production increases the tension and drama of the album, giving it a really professional touch.
The concluding track, “Tulpa and Thought Projections”, is probably my favorite one in many ways, theoretically and musically. Once again while analyzing the title itself I learned something new and interesting. Pulpa is a term derived from Tibetan concept of sprul-pa, which in this context means an object or being created through an individual’s spiritual or mental powers. This actually correlates more than well with the concept of thought projection (turning our thoughts etc. into something one can experience in flesh, so to speak). Maybe the protagonist created this spiritual, otherworldly being to confront the poltergeist or what if the poltergeist is originally born by the thoughts of the protagonist? Whatever the truth may be, this song is a perfect musical mixture of the feelings and impressions described above. There is this fragile state of peace with a hint of unpleasantness. It’s like you cannot be sure if you won the poltergeist or if you died during the struggle?
To put it all together, I think “The Poltergeist Syndrome” is a skillfully crafted album, from the compositional standpoint to production. Obviously this was a very thought-provoking listening experience to me, which is the one of the most important aspects of music. I managed to listen this album through four times and some of the songs I listened to additional two or three times, and on every spin I found new elements and fresh nuances. This album is a strong start for this year in ambient music and I dare to say that every fan of the genre should check this album out.
The debut album by SINIUS | The Poltergeist Syndrome LP, available on pre-order now, releases January 1st 2020