Tineidae – Mothership

In 2020 I was caught by storm when I encountered Tineidae’s third album “Exo”. Though he had a history with Tympanik with 2012’s “Lights” and 2014’s “Shadows”, it wasn’t until “Exo” released on Cryo Chamber that I got wind of him. Cryo Chamber, known for their grand selection of dark ambient works usually centered around sci-fi horrors beyond our comprehension or the Cthulu mythos, released what I consider to be one of the best albums of 2020. As I shut my eyes to intake all the sounds on the album, I found myself exploring the very abandoned vessel that Tineidae wanted his audience to explore. With the announcement of a follow-up to “Exo” I found myself beyond excited to jump back into Tineidae’s world. 
What I love most about releases on Cryo Chamber are the small snippets of story that are present on the label’s Bandcamp page. For “Mothership”, we get the following passage potentially out of a character’s personal journal: 
When I was a kid I dreamt of getting aboard the Mothership. Seeing its lights dispersed through the night sky with the giant hull slowly floating above my head was mesmerizing. Ever since it has beckoned me in my dreams. Very few have a chance to get inside and none of them come back. It’s a life-long mission to serve on the Mothership so no one really knows what it’s like to be there. Tomorrow is my day. Wish me luck.
With the following sentence suggesting that this album is recommended for fans of “derelict space ships”, I already knew that the hopeful sentiment found in the story was crushed into obliteration. And so the album begins with ‘Mothership Calls’. Some feedback, as if you’re listening to an old record player, gives a hint of static noise to the piece while sweeping synths slowly come in alongside fading, clockwork like sounds. If anything, this track reminisced Vangelis’ legendary score of Blade Runner. If it was meant to be a throwback, hats off to Tineidae for pulling it off. If not, then I still salute the producer for bringing out a feeling that is seldom to occur. 
“Behind the Seal” is an excellent play on the title. What sounds like creaking doors slowly opening or even rusted, dangling cabled lowering a platform is heard in between the continuous epic synths that never let up on atmospheric content. ‘Artificer’s Quarters’ breathes off a heavier and denser aura as if whatever our protagonist has just discovered is both frightening yet mysterious. Utilizing elements of noise and static, ‘Commtower’ equally replicates the troubles one might have on a derelict space station trying to reach out for help. 
The beginning of ‘Bridge’ is rather desolate and scarce in sound, but after a minute-and-half of this tense silence does queues for discovery – or that of someone looking out of a bridge’s large windows and into the depths of space beyond – play. ‘Biolab’ easily plays with the notion of creativity and science, and almost sounds like a build-up I could find in an eighties action film when the crew get some downtime. I wasn’t too huge a fan of ‘Storage Sector’ as I found it rather bland in comparison to the rest of “Mothership”. It lacks a certain identity that I allocate with Tineidae and sounds more like standard dark ambient affair then a complete and polished Tineidae track. 
‘Reactor’ serves up a few doses of atmospheric walls and brighter synths that sound like a trumpet slowed down one-hundred times and stretched out. ‘Manufacturing Facility’ furthers the suspense with off-distance factory noise, spaceship creaks, and equally impressive drones. ‘Testing Grounds’ amps that tension up with a steady, rhythmic thumping – like that of a heart beating a little too fast. The finale isn’t as impressive as I would have hoped. I have similar complaints about it that I did with ‘Storage Sector’ – it just sounds a bit bland and doesn’t have much of an oomph as do the other pieces on the album. 
“Mothership” then lands as another great work from Tineidae. Sure, I have my complaints about two of the eleven songs on the album. But even then the production level on ‘Storage Sector’ and ‘Ellipsis’ is better than most of the other dark ambient pieces that I receive for review on Brutal. However, the rest of the album is on point and eases me into a sci-fi setting where this derelict mothership is abandoned. Each part of the ship – or at least the major parts – are explored in song and Tineidae leaves it up to the listener’s imagination to make up what exactly is going on in this gargantuan spaceship. Eight out of ten. 
Back to top