Oct 2011 12

Tholen - NeuropolTholen
Category: Ambient
Album: Neuropol
Stars: 3
Blurb: Though somewhat typical ambient fair, some bright spots can be found for those looking for them.


The second album from this German ambient act, Neuropol continues Tholen’s exploration of dark, brooding, and heavily atmospheric work. Theoretically, a tour of a fictional city that shares its name with the album title, Tholen provides little new in its survey of the dark recesses of this post-apocalyptic city. However, though it may be conceptually and stylistically clichéd, Neuropol does still have surprises to reveal to the astute listener.

One of the more welcome additions to Neuropol is the sounds of life. Tholen very effectively uses vocals and other human sounds in tracks like “Tiefe – Floating Corpses Odor” with its subtle muffled, whispered voices, sounding as if echoed down a hallway, the words formless but unsettling, and “Cryogenic Ceremonies” with its groans of pain, breathless panting, and the slapping sound of moist skin against a hard surface conveys a feeling of disorientation and helplessness. Other tracks like “Skeletons of Steel” and “When All Hope Was Dying” come across as fairly standard with their typical ambient droning style, though when paid closer attention to, they do reveal surprisingly deeply layered arrangements. Unfortunately, it is far too easy for that work to get lost in the waves of murmuring synths.

In the world of ambient music, standing out seems to be the antithesis of the genre’s point. Tholen definitely tows the genre line with Neuropol, going so far as building off of a painfully typical post-apocalyptic city motif. Despite this, Tholen thankfully still manages to throw in a few tidbits of flair in for those who actively work to pay attention to it, but it is a struggle to not let it just fade off into the background.

Track list:

  1. They are Watching Through My Eyes
  2. Skeletons of Steel
  3. Neuropol Underground Infrastructure
  4. Cryogenic Ceremonies
  5. Among the Tormented
  6. Tiefe – Floating Corpses Odor
  7. Becoming (Segmented Minds)
  8. When All Hope Was Dying

Tholen MySpace http://www.myspace.com/tholenambient
Cyclic Law Website http://www.cycliclaw.com
Cyclic Law MySpace http://www.myspace.com/cycliclaw
Cyclic Law Facebook http://www.facebook.com/cycliclaw

Purchase at:
Amazon MP3


Trubie Turner (Flexei)

1 Comment

  1. D says:

    This style of music isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy Cyclic Law flavor of dark ambient than this album is a must have. Definitely one of my favorites from the label.

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