Review from Concrete Web

January 31, 2018
From: Concrete Web
Published: January 31, 2018

Mike O’Brien is one of the members of Symphonic (Black) Metal act Appalachian Winter, he’s the guy behind the fantastic droning Dark Ambient act Veiled Monk, and he used to perform ritual Ambient Music too under the Ritual In Ash moniker. Another solo-outfit he runs is Melankolia, with a modest yet highly interesting discography.

Welcome Vividarium Intervigilium Viator, the fourth full length under the Melankolia moniker. The project signed to the fabulous Hypnotic Dirge Records roster, known for its happy and joyful releases, ergo Melankolia’s newest effort will surely fit! Yeah… No, seriously, this album is a nice addition to this label’s permanently growing roster, for it represents desolation, introspection and grief. Okay, it is not ‘Metal’ at all, but it is not the first time that Hypnotic Dirge Records come up with non-metalized material; it’s all about the concept of the atmospheres represented (which I just stated: desolation, introspection and grief – and more of these depressing aspects).

Anyway, Vividarium Intervigilium Viator is a ten-track creation, lasting for sixty-seven minutes, being released the digital way, as well as in a four-panel digipack. Music-wise, there are two directions being active, sometimes operating separately, sometimes acting in a beautiful symbiosis. At the one hand, you have those contemporary Classic Music compositions, based on piano especially. At the other hand, there are those mesmerizing Dark Ambient pieces, keyboard-played, occasionally including percussive elements. And then there are some crossovers too. Still, even if it’s the one or the other style being performed, there is a huge differentiation within that specific approach as well. On top of it, Melankolia add some samples and field recordings, strengthening the compositions by the depth of their meaning, or just creating an additional sphere on top of the deepest meaning behind each song.

Let’s take the opener Ambrosia, as representing example. Melancholic, yet truly beautiful piano melodies go hand in hand with dreamy, hypnotic and astral synth-based soundwaves, evolving into a floating, esoteric, even meditative symbiosis. Eventually, the use of simplistic yet prominent drums enter, adding a dimension of contemporary activities. The Crowning of Autumn, for example, is an example of integrity, and beauty, that typifies the pieces that focus on classical piano-based melancholy. This specific track, for example, also comes with violin-alike instrumentation and ‘heavenly’ female voices, and breathes an ethereal purity. Other pieces are rather focusing on Drone / Dark Ambient aspects, sometimes ominous and scarifying, then again transcendental, hypnotic, mind-escaping.

Vividarium Intervigilium Viator feels emotional and introspective, as if Mike wanted to tell a personal story, like an expression of feelings that characterised his raison d’être, as a contemplation, a reflection, or an explanation, if you want, for life-bound situations. He succeeded, for I am looking back on my past, and pondering about what’s next to come. This album is the ideal soundtrack for such introspection!

Rating: 95/100
Reviewed by: Ivan Tibos 

Review from Disfactory Zine

January 17, 2018
From: Disfactory Zine
Published: January 17, 2018

E’ un viaggio lungo quello operato sul quarto full-lenght del progetto ambient/neoclassico Melankolia. Un disco da mettere via per le lunghe notti autunnali ed insonni; per dar largo spazio ai pensieri e alle loro strane e quiete evoluzioni sotto gli occhi di Morfeo. Saranno previsti piccoli terremoti interiori per mezzo di note dalle tempistiche oltremodo dilatate ma comunque “pazienti” e ben propense a conferire quei timidi ...

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Review from Dark Undeground Music Zine

December 12, 2017
From: Dark Underground Music Zine
Published: December 10, 2017
Melankolia  are  a  solo  project  from  Ohio  that  plays  a  mixture  of  neo-classical,  ethereal  and  dark  ambient  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2017  album  "Vividarium  Intervigilium  Viator"  which  was  released  by  Hypnotic  Dirge  Records.

Tragic  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  elements  of  neo-classical  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  a  great  amount  of  dark  ...

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 Released: December 12, 2017
300 Copies
Genre: Dark Ambient / Soundtrack