(All Album Reviews by avestin)
With Ehnahre being composed of musicians who played in Kayo Dot, the expectations are high for fans of the latter band. I was definitely intrigued and curious to hear what direction and style would be taken by this lineup.
A crude sounding mixture of sludge, doom, black metal and experimental/atmospheric/ambient metal a-la Kayo Dot (first two albums) and Pan.Thy,Monium, greets (or rather assaults) the listener in this first release by this Boston based band.
Whatever it is that they are attempting (stating atonality/12-tone serialism as the basis for their music as well as freely improvising), they manage to capture quite a captivating essence that while influenced from their "relatives" Kayo Dot, is distant enough to achieve a sound of their own. While it is interesting to understand the basis of bands composition process and style I am not adequately learned on these matters and shall leave it for others to analyze (though I can certainly hear and understand their approach).
The lyrics are said to be "based on the improvisational poetry of Donald Justice." As I do not know the output of this poet, I can't comment on that regretfully, but for those of you who know his poetry, this might be of interest for you.
The music, can be fiercely demonic sounding, with raw black metal fast riffing (“Part III” for instance) and then become exhaustingly desperate sounding, slow-paced, yet still aggressive (beginning of “Part I” for example) and then move on to more laid back (yet still intense) atmospheric sections (such as in a section of “Part II”) . The vocals, rasp and harsh, are at times replaced with a clear voice (in “Part II”).
Each song is quite varied within itself. Stagnation is not being employed here. There are frequent changes in tempo, mood and energy levels; the dynamic range of all of these is very appealing to me and quite accomplished in my opinion. The overall sound is that of either an approaching apocalypse, an impending doom or that of the aftermath of such events. In “Part IV” for instance, an imagery of total devastation prevails in the mostly fragmented-like, free-form structure of this piece, intertwined with a middle fast paced organized black-metal-like section.
If an album's purpose is to have an effect on a listener, The Man Closing Up has certainly achieved its goal with me. I find it a captivating album; as I like dynamics in music, the mingling of various sounds, styles and influences (but well done), this album strikes the right chords and riffs with me. t is dramatic scenery of fury, despair and destruction that permeates from the songs. I personally would recommend listening to the album in one sitting and follow the vast picture drawn by the music for the best effect.
Though highly enjoyable may seem an odd thing to say about this album, it is definitely an album I'll come back to for more.
Ryan McGuire - Bass, Double-bass, Voice, Percussion (Kayo Dot)
John Carchia - Guitar, Voice (Kayo Dot)
D.J. Murray - Guitar, Voice, Keyboard (Kayo Dot, Forcefedglass, The Dying Game Theory)
Other contributors :
Jonah Jenkins - Voice (Only Living Witness, Raw Radar War, Milligram, Miltown)
Forbes Graham - Trumpet (Kayo Dot, XthoughtstreamsX)
Greg Kelley - Trumpet (Nperign, Heathen Shame)
Greg Massi - Guitar (Baliset, Maudlin of the Well/Kayo Dot)
Noell Dorsey - Voice
J Mark Inman - Violin