This CD was released simultaneously with mr. Hamre's "Dense Vision Shrine"-project's Time Lost In Oblivion-album by the same label. Noting the similar packaging (with equally dull visual side), similar bonus-DVD and the shared release date, I would recommend you to get them both in the same bundle if either of them tickles your interest.

"Through the Eyes of a Stranger" holds 45 minutes of detailed and slightly eerie dark ambient. The base layers of flowing dark sound is built from rather usual synthesizer-notes, along with some neoclassical source-sounds. The latter mentioned are slightly muffled and otherwise modified so that they wouldn't sound too concrete amidst the black fog, but still bear the characteristics of cellos, low-pitch brasses, and such.

The two above mentioned elements create the mass and feel of the songs, on which some sharper industrial-sounds and samples (even noisy ones) are added to create something tangible; something that gives the songs their character and defines them. These samples range from field-recorded wooden beats, metallic clangs, loud and even shrill noises, and various abrasion-sounds to even pure electro-elements. These electro-driven moments are rare, but for example the very spacey bleeping in "Remember the Past" is hard to pass by without noticing it. Otherwise these more concrete sounds tend to be less prominent, apprearing only as a steady precussion beat, howling wind-ambience, and other similarly minimalistic things that create movement on the aural mass.

I had high expectations for this album due to the "Dense Vision Shrine"-album being such a thought-provoker, but I was let down. In the end, "Through the Eyes..." offers quality dark ambient, but the base structures don't blend with the industrial and electronic "spices," so to say. These two sides feel way too separated at times, and in the end the album seems to lack ambition. The base elements are good, and so are the sounds' overall depth and quality and the way the artist has tried to give them character, but the end result still sounds lackluster. It would've needed a lot more emotion and cohesion.

"Through the Eyes of a Stranger" doesn't sound unique, but if you aren't afraid of slightly spacey and dreamy adds in your dark ambient, you might want to check it out. For me, the mixture between usual ambience and a more composed and musical approaches didn't work as well as I would've hoped for.

6+ / 10