CD Review

Ad Ombra – “Smaragdine”

By Marcus Pan

SmaragdineOriginally I wasn’t sure if I would be writing Smaragdine up for Legends because it’s not quite in format, really. It’s almost pure classical, and while I like classic Legends is a goth magazine after all. Elements of classical can easily be found in outfits that would normally fall under the “goth” umbrella – Midnight Syndicate, Nox Arcana – who use heavy elements of classical style to build their soundtracks. Ad Ombra does similar, but remains standard classical until about a quarter of the way in – at this point it gets experimental with its use of crowd sounds and the like.

The whole of Smaragdine is one long twenty plus minute track that lists as being called Jazz II. That makes it difficult to write about – a singular thing. The track will flit into other areas, after seven minutes it steps into a moving, swift presentation of strings. Not quite the way it started. Then it adds a piano melody and grows from there and adds some angry spoken word.

Jazz fusion rears its interesting head just after the halfway mark on the track, with backing symphony strings playing against the occasional illucid keys. Some crowd sounds again as Jazz II moves back and forth between swiftness and melancholy. Segues are sudden and unexpected and by this time in the track we’ve gotten very dark in its make-up. Very Danny Elfman.

Hailing from Romania and founded by George D. Stanciulescu, Ad Ombra was formed this year. Still unsigned, it’s obvious that Stanciulescu really has a very strong command of symphony and orchestration. I have a little trouble with it all being smooshed into one track because it makes it tough to write about, but that’s my problem really as I can see the need for Jazz II to require twenty minutes, being the modern orchestrated opus that it is.

Contact Information:
Ad Ombra
Post: Oancea Street No.1, Bl.D12 , Ap.18, Iasi, 700351, Romania
E-Mail: ad_ombra@yahoo.com