Cyclamen – Senjyu

Cyclamen – Senjyu – 3.5/5

As with my last review of this artist, no link is to be given. I've read his thoughts on file sharing and regardless of my own opinion, I'd be an asshole to ignore his. You can stream the entire thing on his myspace page either way, which is linked. Despite eagerly awaiting this release, getting the pre-order and hastily turning the volume up, I quickly realised I had the completely wrong mindset. This feels like a relatively drastic departure from his debut demo cd, even though the entirety is still self-recorded and self-produced by the same guy. It still has much of the same mathcore tendencies but at least as much of the release is now post-rock, used as more than interludes or epic chorus lines between the passages of technicality, with the inevitable occasional djent passage for good measure.

Why he still uses djent I will never quite understand. Playing the same note off-time was never something I saw the attraction in, and “Grand Annihilation” where it gets used with frequency I can see being skipped a lot as a consequence. Despite that, when the guitar work is put into overdrive it's chaotic beyond belief, and yet it never feels unsuited; its not as though it's without a purpose beyond to sound as full of wank as possible. This again feels mirrored in the slower haunting post-rock passages, and even some of the aforementioned djent lines which when not overused can often succeed in creating a build-up to something more, demonstrating a clear flexibility to his abilities. The drum work has also seen a notable improvement – possibly as a result of the new full-time musician contributing – as have the clean vocal lines (excusing one rather eerily high pitched track), but the added clarity the production yields has not been kind to the screams; they feel all the more hoarse and strained, a fact more readily hidden before.

I guess there's no secret in pointing out that it was the track “Never Ending Dream” that first caught my attention, but it was the marriage between the two styles that intrigued me; harrowing as “Envy” and all the dark melancholy that goes with it, twinned with that “Sikth” brand of demonic chaos that doesn't sound like he's being dragged down without a fight, but it is the combination of the two that made it work. Here, they're all too separate; the tracks alternate between ultra-chaos and slow; each track feels as though its all or nothing, and I miss that middle ground.

Highlights: The Seeker, Comfort, Revenge (of the Geeks)