Review—Ex Tenebris, the audio drama from The Night Keep

When an artist has passion for their work, it shows. And it shows in Ex Tenebris, the audio drama from the fantastic Night Keep.

The Night Keep is an eclectic website that presents original music and audio drama. I’ve listened to the works and this latest work, Ex Tenebris, is an absorbing blend of disturbing, suspenseful music and a compelling sci-fi horror drama. The composer and writer, the terrifically talented J. Daniel Edenfield, has obviously put forth a massive effort to bring this work to fruition.

This is a horror/sci-fi novel come to life. It’s pretty long, so it was tough for me to find the time to listen to the tale in its entirety in one sitting, since it is a whole novel acted out. But your patience is definitely worth it. The storyline is this: A spacecraft is sent on a recon mission to the planet Acheron. On the surface, it has the familiar feel of the film Aliens, especially in the beginning and ending chapters, but then the story moves on to so much more. I hesitate to tell you any more of the plot since I don’t want to spoil the surprises, but suffice it to say that things don’t go well in ways that you don’t expect.

This is sci-fi deftly blended with gothic horror, and it works nicely. Ancient forces are afoot in our solar system, and they are tenacious. I found myself caught up in each chapter wondering exactly what would happen next. And those who know me will tell you, when I can’t tell exactly what will happen next in a story, that gives it a hearty thumbs up from me! More than once I got chills down the spine, and that’s not an easy feat.

The other half of this tense drama is the music. I noticed that there was more than a touch of influence from John Carpenter’s music, the terrific artist Enigma, gothic symphonic works, and electronica from games. This sounds like the music would be a disjointed mish-mash, but it all works beautifully to give the entire piece a unique and disquieting feel, and accompanies the drama perfectly.

And, if you have a mind to, check out Daniel’s commentary on the entire project at the very end. He gives the in-depth backstory of his work and the influences on the story and music. Fascinating stuff.

Link to the show here:

So Deadies, get this and listen when you are in the car traveling, or if you have time to get your chills on! And if you dig it, check out past works by The Night Keep. Whether you’re approaching as a listener looking for a thrill, or a writer looking to set a mood, give Daniel Edenfield and The Night Keep a chance.


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