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Exhalus - Ephemera
Wednesday, April 01 2009 @ 01:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Mark Howitt


Artist: Exhalus Romania

Title: Ephemera

Label: Self Released

Genre: Drone/ Ambient/ Experimental

Track Listing:

01 Ephemeron 1
02 Ephemeron 2
03 Ephemeron 3
04 Ephemeron 4
05 Ephemeron 5
06 Ephemeron 6
07 Ephemeron 7
08 Ephemeron 8

Being an unsigned and independent solo project, I was perhaps expecting less out of Exhalus when I first listened to the most recent offering. Entitled Ephemera, the album is a very impressive arrangement of drone / industrial/ ambient influenced soundscapes. Ephemera shows much improvement from previous releases. Throughout the eight tracks which compose the structure of the album (titled Ephemeron 1-8), the listener is taken on a dark journey through chasms and rusted wastelands of desolation. The album has a very smoggy essence about it, created by the drones and industrial elements used in the Exhalus formula. This approach has not wearied away from previous releases, however with Ephemera it would seem that Exhalus has found a unity using elements found on past albums.

The composition aspect is very well structured, each element that comes into the ambience seems to come and go at the right time, making the album an easy listen and easily accessible. Personal favorite arrangements would be the finale Ephemeron 8 and Ephemeron 2, however all the tracks are equally as important in accenting each other. The songs are arranged in a way that flows quite well and are at just the right length which avoids boredom upon listening, an aspect all too familiar with ambient and drone type projects. Some tracks reach the ten-minute mark, but these particular tracks are well arranged and contain many underlying elements used to keep you focused on what is happening.

One element used, which creates an old industrial type feel, is the percussion arrangements. Percussion is not used excessively in every track but when it is used it is as though it belongs there. This adds a unique feel to the drones and with the distorted guitars almost makes the album slightly metal influenced. However, the metal influence is very miniscule, as the display of these eight arrangements is not heavy at all. The percussion merely adds a beat to the music making it more possible to climax certain portions of the songs.

Darkness is the feeling that is captured here, and it is effectively used to make the listener feel as though they are in a world veiled in eternal night. Color has no place here, only shades of grey and blackness at the end of the tunnel. Distorted reality, a land of desolate factories and once roamed cities. A dream that has turned into a nightmare and Ephemera is the feeling one has after waking up from such a horrific vision within their minds. A march to their death bed to sleep once more.


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