Yen Pox – Between the Horizon and the Abyss

We’ve been on board with Malignant Records for a long time now.  What started as a partial zine project many years ago eventually went on to become one of the modern powerhouses behind death industrial, noise, ambient, and all of those moldering genres we enjoy so much around here.  So yeah, we’ve known about them for awhile.  How long?  Can’t remember, enough to know that we occasionally step reviews of their submissions back so people don’t start rumors.  “They sure review this label a lot…  Heyyyy, do these guys own that label or something?” could be a likely question if we review too much, too soon, so we sat on this one for awhile.  Really though, you kind of had to, because, one, the band in question has been on hiatus for over a decade other than a limited release in 2010 (Universal Emptiness), and two, the genre requires this for proper absorption.  Ambient is one of those “for awhile” types of music, not consumer filth.  It’s a thinking being’s life-force.


So Yen Pox have been out of the scene for awhile, except for the one release we mentioned above which came via Drone Records, in addition to a reissue of Blood Music (1995) by Malignant, also in 2010.  That one is critical, because it was actually the label’s second release as a proper label, unlike the comps that were done before.  And after that, well, Yen Pox decided to bring it back and prove why they’re still, and always were, one of the giants of the ambient universe.  The artwork basically gives it away, face value, and considering how difficult it is to visually approximate the sounds of this type of music, this is probably as accurate as it could ever get.  Yen Pox as a phrase itself references things of a sedative quality, if you catch the reference from Naked Lunch.


Between the Horizon and the Abyss has all the hallmarks of ambient greatness.  Consider the cover again, perhaps as some sort of alien life force a true thinker believes we will actually meet some day, if such a being decides to give our pathetic species a look.  It won’t be humanoid as the plebes think, but something otherworldly so beyond our concept of life we fear its presence more than death.  Now translate that into music, imagine that being speaks in atonal pulses instead of language.  Yen Pox make excellent usage of droning dignity in this one, absolutely filling the sound space with the expected assortment of sweeping patterns and rattling, metallic sounds with quasi-industrial elements.  But yet they go further than the usual, this is merely the foundation on which they build their aural world.  Between the Horizon and the Abyss contains all the necessary elements of the ambient from apocalyptic musing to grief-laden depression, all finely outlined by each song title, which provide the listener with a blank stage on which Yen Pox then performs their tragedies, in the classical sense.  Tons of excellent sounds for the ambient fan to investigate here beyond the usual, single-key-pressing, CD-R nonsense we tend to get.  They nearly started Malignant on its way, and they prove again, after twenty years, they can do it all over again.


Yen Pox Official Facebook

Written by Stanley  Stepanic

Yen Pox: Between the Horizon and the Abyss
Malignant Records
4.6 / 5