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What’s remarkable of course is the ability of Zeier to elicit the sort of response that this album inspires; after all when you analyse it the scrapes, squeals, scratchings and growls are just that. However the art is in taking these rawest of raw materials and then proceed to extract whatever you need from them – and on here Zeier gives us anger, confusion, despair, pain and sorrow. These emotions are totally unfiltered and with their sharp edges still intact; what’s more those emotions, those uneasy feelings of loss and separation noted above are quite palpably solid. Zeier handles his materials with confidence and surety.
The ensemble of instruments that patronize the choir are numerous and varied from the heraldic trumpeting of Eric Roger himself, to crooked electric guitar, grinding tremolos of string and cello, gyring flutes, palpably gravid church organ, languorous xylophone, restless harpsichord, and the warm gut of lute; providing a scaffolding over the throated gathered in the amphitheatre below.
Gaë Bolg has relaxed the emphasis on every song being a bombastic anthem and has incorporated softer moments and compositions into the album which lends “Aucassin et Nicolette” a wider range of sound and emotion than previous albums. But do not fear there are plenty of strong bombastic explosions of glorious music to hold you over between the softer elements in the album.
This feels more like an artist's first release. The drumkits are a little dated, and the rhythms somewhat simplistic, which (for me) detracted from the lush, isolationist synth-work. The songs have clear structure, but have an "architectural" or assembled feel, which left things a touch undynamic.
On the experiment presented by these musical seers a multitude of methods are used. Obscure dense drone layers in the vein of Inade lies in a vast field of constantly evolving ambient frequencies and tone variations, well poured noise textures and a rhythm set defined by subtle pulsating vibrations and the mechanical loop from the radical drone usage. The atmosphere is set, you’re set to see the frightening reality above you, the terrific secret behind the Montauk base. This is excellently well done and must be praised since the method of genre of drone ambient uses to be difficult to reinterpret and to shake the listener with, they achieve this.
Ripper in the Gloom tore me a new one, straight out. Here I am kicking back thinking I'm enjoying a nice instrumental before some more crushing doom or crust punk rippage, and what do I know but halfway through these lovely ladies lose their fucking minds and obliterate my now-blasted speakers sending me flying into the next room ass first. This track shreds. And its only probably my mid-favourite track on the album.
Gamma Ray was always quite overrated to me, but I suppose as I get older my tastes are opening up a bit because this was actually a half-solid release. I still don't really get into the epic happy-sounding choruses, but the Iron Maiden-styled verses like that in From the Ashes more than make up for any slight cheesiness.