Black Tape for a Blue Girl – As one Aflame, Laid Bare by Desire – 4.5/5
Dark, disturbing yet melancholy. This is the atmosphere that typifies this ambient musician who succeeds in expanding into a more gothic post-punk style at times, with perhaps a touch of neofolk. With slow violin melodies and harsh piano, enriching the tone utilised so effectively, the sounds of oceans and distant female vocals used to further this, welcome to an album that has done everything in their power to present a doom-filled depressive tone, and have done it well.
What makes this album precisely so good is the manner in which it is done. No one feature is overused, but rather it all gets used in turn to produce a continually improving array of emotions, from the multi-layered vocals in ‘Russia,’ proceeding from a beautiful piano solo, with violins wonderfully worked in to take you into dark, almost classical music like territory, to the rather more distant style in ‘Your One Wish,’ with the tone largely set by piano as the ghostly vocals fade in and out.
The use of vocals are particularly done well, easily capable of overpowering the gentle music, or drawing focus to the lyrics more importantly than that they maintain the rhythm and flow of the piece. They glide as effortlessly through as the violins, or the flutes and do nothing to detract from the atmosphere created. Capable of sounding epic or calm, distant or close, aggressive or passive it all results in an unsettling variety of melancholic gloom.
Featuring vocals as often as not, this album has succeeded in producing a broad spectrum of styles upon their specific tone. At times feeling fit for the epilogue of a tragic film noir (Apotheosis), at others conjuring images of the fall of a hero in a dramatic samurai film (Green box), they have succeeded in displaying a tone in every moment that passes beyond what most are capable of, and it never lets up. It never slows down, it never feels sub-par. If you’re a fan of ambient, or even doom, this may well be worth your time.
Highlights: Given, Apotheosis, Green Box
By T. Bawden