“Outward Appearance” (Stephen Philips and Jesse Sola’s second collaboration) features four expansive electronic vignettes made up of deep soaring textures and enigmatic ambient soundscapes.
It all kicks off pretty strong with the atmospheric, slumbering “A Deeper Calling”. “Chain Reaction” is enhanced with mechanical industrial sounds, which gives the outcome a nice gloomy, otherworldly touch. The music though gets murky, vague and less captivating on the first half of “Soft Blue Glow”, followed by some more airy and minimal industrial soundscaping. The best is yet to come as rays of warm light surface on the 19-minute title piece. Drifting vocal pads take off in a mesmerizing manner, later on dissolving in circular, otherworldly dronescapes and depths that venture into deeper lands beyond. The last couple of minutes breathe the uncanny.
The first and last piece deserve 3,5 stars, the others 3 stars. Overall, this follow-up to “From within the Abyss” opens up some interesting, yet darker perspectives for ambient dwellers.