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Reviews
Eldar - Sapere Aude
Monday, June 15 2009 @ 03:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Jack The Ripper

Sapere Aude

Artist: Eldar Spain

Title: Sapere Aude

Label: Cold Meat Industry Sweden

Genre: Dark Ambient / Martial Industrial

Track Listing:

01 Zeitgeist
02 Le Syndrome De Cotard (Featuring Psychaotic)
03 The Grave Of Mankind (Featuring Der blaue reiter)
04 From The Deep Sea (Featuring Wyrm)
05 New Gods (Featuring Nurss)
06 Lied Der Neuen Welt (Featuring Persona)
07 Alexander Nexsky (Featuring Reserva espiritual de occidente)
08 Untitled (Featuring Argentum)
09 Aevum VI (Featuring Verbum)
10 Una Madre Reptil En El Nido (Featuring Miguel Mazur)
11 Contubernio (Featuring Plagiarism is art)
12 Horus (Featuring Erq)
13 Faith Is A Lie (Featuring Ruins winter)
14 18 Julio (Featuring Lomo bajo)
15 26 De Diciembre (Featuring Escuadron de la muerte)


Eldar means “Epidemic” in Iberian, this fact alone raises an intriguing portrait from entrance and somehow creates a defined interest to know more about them. Currently located in Barcelona and with several albums released, the more recent from them by Skullline in 2008. The couple behind Eldar are Marc Marinee and Merce Spica. Merinee started as early as 1992 composing experimental-electronic music with his first project called Belaur and has used the nickname of Zyklon-B as a moniker for his individual appeareance. Zyklon-B musical journey is long enough by now and his name as Eldar has gained popularity in equal terms with other experimental electronic music countrymen such as the recognized “Der blaue reiter” and “Plagiarism is art” which had a space for participation on this album. The scarce scene from Spain was no impediment for Eldar to join forces with many of the few countrymen bands in the similar league with his work, somehow transforming “Sapere aude” in a collective collaboration with an open heart, leading the way for many of them to show their talents and for the most famous to assent what is worth through a connoted label such as Cold Meat Industry. Some of the bands that appear on the work are not from Spain though such as the vigorous Argentum from Argentina, but nevertheless they all share a common artistic perception, a clear aesthetic and pertain to the same league attributed to dark electronic experimentalism.  Eldar music comes then as a suggestive paradigm that conveys manifested contradictions and fuzzy ideologies and ideals (So typical on the underground scene these days) anchored in a Dark ambient-Martial Industrial with rather minimalist logic.

Truth has always been considered a threat because it destroys our foundations, it annoys our security and puts the certainty from our absolutes on their knees, that’s why we quickly learn as children to veil the truth and consequently to achieve the capacity to fabricate lies. We learn that in order to preserve order we should restrain ourselves from telling the truth. Then we learn how to perpetuate the malaise, the decadence and the traditional facade that ultimately conforms the “civilized way”. In reality lies are nothing but linguistic mechanisms to eliminate or attenuate the possibility to hurt anyone’s ego, or to circumvent any way to alter the course from authority. To paraphrase Emil Cioran: “If we could tell our friends what we really think about them, we would live very lonesome lives”. Our ability to say what we really think must be an imperative, it allows others to overcome their mistakes, this is so obvious, yet some people prefer to receive applause for their mistakes in order to retain certain status, some recognition or to feel proud of something they are not doing right. Hope this critic serves more the purpose to help Eldar in their quest for improvement and solidification than it may be taken for depriving them for the necessary confidence to advance for future goals.

I am not sure if the amount of bands involved with different levels of participation and often radical dissimilar angles portrayed in each one of the tracks somehow blur the character from Eldar, or if it is that Eldar’s sound is like this, utterly nebulous. The thing is “Sapere Aude” conformation is more likely uncertain and transforms evidently the work into some kind of compilation composed of often dissimilar tracks with widely diverse constructions, this assent a lack of solidity that doesn’t favour it. It is clear that the base from the work is settled upon Dark ambient logistics mainly, this is evidenced through the whole body of sound manifested through the work development but the abrupt changes between tracks, the different moods and thematic jumps never quite leave the impression of a defined direction or sequence between tracks, these appears isolated and distant from each other wandering aimlessly around without a concise route for the listener to adhere to. Highly atmospheric centred the work tries to construct images based solely on arch known ambient routines, textures and sampler usage, leaving melodies aside. The incidence from rhythm is only apparent during certain passages, more likely introduced as another element to enhance the ambience. The martial touch appears here and there, sometimes more prominent, some other times just barely perceived as a futile adorn, singing is absent, its obvious that the result coming from all these dissimilar characteristics will be a rather undefined structure, a set of dark atmospheric effects with no present or past, nor end or beginning. This effect will provoke that the work lacks the cohesion to represent a concept or a logic, remaining in mere sonic evocations and texturized sonorities with fleeting moments of inspiration.

Consider the opening track: “Zeitgeist” with a defined martial stand helped by some noise textures and directly referencing the documental movie thematic of the same name then jumping to the traditional dark ambient marasmus from “Le syndrome de cotard” to then adhere to a gloomy death march on “The grave of mankind” (featuring Die Blaue Reiter) perhaps one of the best and more structured tracks from the work to then again into some the amalgam composed of dark ambient and martial drumming that most of the work is composed of until it comes to “Alexander Nevsky” another powerful piece filled with intense martial industrial pathos featuring this time a band called “Reserva espiritual de Occidente” and then following the same course administered before on atmospheres spiced with occasional martial drumming. Aside from the before mentioned tracks is rather inefficient to call the work as Martial industrial, it is more likely an obscure and often fuzzy combination of ominous drones, minimal noise effects, subtle instrumental additions that doesn’t exactly serve as an harmonic inductions but as layers of crepuscular textures and spread melodic introits.

In simple terms the work manifests a tendency towards orthodox Dark Ambient with subtle martial additions that is no subversive in a medium where many other Dark ambient counterparts have recycled the same model. In general sense it is an adventurous promise that for instants truly touches the listener and impress with its grandiloquence but its often circular musical wandering and the cryptic-ism derived from it leaves a sensation of inconsistence and estrangement for the listener. Vast valleys of a somehow formulaic dark ambient construction with momentary passages of charm meets occasional peaks of consolidated strength and beauty, but these are too distant in between them to give the necessary cohesion in the end. One must recognize the effort given to the work, the amount of dedication and compromise from so many artists to create something and collaborate together, the intention from the author with the conceptual quest, this deserves a merit, their names now gained attention and expectancy. Musically the project can contribute a lot more in future presentations, there’s strength and passion perceived in Eldar and this can be used for greater deeds. 

     


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