Previously orchestramaxfieldparrish has navigated interstices between experimental ambient and a neo-classical distillate, dealing in ritual tone-whorls over dark drone and post-Gothic colourings to wispy atmospherics laced with orchestral infusions. Mike Fazio’s questing sensibility manifests here in a turning away from repetition of gestures. Where the previous was restless in its experiment, Crossing of Shadows is more restrained, self-contained - immediately more timbrally open than To The Last Man/Index Of Dreaming, and before that The Silent Breath of Emptiness, whose narrow focus on abstracted guitar-tones is expanded, integrated into a wider architecture. The album was released privately in 2007, but only now gets a full public issue. Comprising 'six dark lamentations,' perhaps of a general existential nature, though likely with a specific personal ceremonial note – this at the passing of a friend, to whom the album is dedicated.
Its 'lamentations' are formed of aether and earth, oneiromantic and spatial. The ancients had it that ‘through suffering comes wisdom’ and this may be at work here, especially in Part One, as Fazio transmutes mourning to enlightened musical movement. It sets out contemplative but unsettled with “Thirst (Revisitation)”; originally part of the soundtrack to the Caligari: An Exquisite Corpse DVD project, it hosts an initial lamenting cadence rising and extending through the soundfield, before a caustic drone sounds a signal to an irruption of spectral sound, a seepage of low-end crackle and hum, fluctuating between remote decay and more visceral attack. “On Nine Mile Marsh” comes with ominous sonorities before Part One’s brooding conclusion, “Mystery by Moonlight.” This is pervaded with a sense of eerie-serene reverie, communing with Coil. Fazio has an inveterate predilection for other iconic ambient/space/drone artists, and the lately resanitized ’70s Kosmische of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, and these are no less present here - a hint of Cluster maybe, even a passing glimpse of Sky.