Subterrestrial is a project from San Francisco that operates in the fields of dark ambient and experimental electronic music, and "The City Beneath" is the project's second full-lenght. The album's sole track is inspired by the film "Metropolis" from 1927.
The track is pretty pure and atmospheric dark ambient, with a hint of sci-fi in it. It's focused on low and hoarse dronings that go on in the distance, while some equally hoarse but higher drones create the details and most of the track's character, along with various single "beats" that are present here and there, echoing onwards. The song progresses slowly and peacefully, with the soundscape slowly turning from a quite densely structured droning ambience into a more sparse and desolate soundscape, with some sparse and retro/classic sci-fi synth notes bringing a new perspective to it. The feeling is as if you were slowly descending to the desolate and eerie subterrestrial city, until the short and tragic piano-outro marks the end of your journey.
Albeit the soundscape's sparse but fleshy elements are pleasantly structured and layered throughout the track, their simplistic nature and overall hoarse and edgeless sound make the track dissapointingly lackluster when thinking of it's possibilities. The composition does progress with variation and changing volume levels, but it's details don't draw your attention with the strenght one would hope for. The atmosphere is there, but it isn't deep or appealing enough, and doesn't really get to surprise the listener at all.
This track is a promising one, but one that I won't likely listen to often due to it's progression and overall nature being too peaceful for the track's own good. It's clear that the artist has some good ideas up his sleeve and knows how to knit together a layered soundscape, but this release presents it all in a too safe and lengthened form. I'll be checking out the artist's other works to see if they're of higher quality.