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Highly, highly recommended for the devoted fan. This would be an odd album to start with, as here we have on display a noticeably different expression of artistic virtuosity. I had begun my Wrestful journey with both “Tentacles..”and “10th Level..” as well as couple of split cd’s (Crebain, Iuvens) where we experience an entirely different sonic palate than “..Splinters”. In the previous offerings, there is always present a thrustful energy, entropy in its purest state, a sense that darkness and destruction are imminent, all being precisely articulated by well crafted vocals, drumming, and shredding guitars (I understand that the artist does his own drum work, not opting for a machine, which also lends a more organic element). I am not a musician myself, but whenever I listen to Leviathan, I always wonder what other musicians are thinking when they here this, because the Leviathan sound is so profoundly unique.
But what we have here with “..Splinters” is totally different, as I stated earlier. I immediately ordered this from the record label directly. Being a late comer myself to the BM scene, I wanted to be one of the first to hear a limited release. Profound Lore is known for putting forth quality artists, and I just knew this would not disappoint. (As an aside, if you’re new at appreciating BM music, consider purchasing a quality turntable, and some kick-ass headphones with amp.). So, here delivered to my doorstep comes this beautiful lucid red ablum and promptly to the turntable it goes (headphones please)…. and… what do we have here? This is sheer ambient nirvana. ‘Side A’ of the album puts me into a reverie that takes several days to figure out. I am not sure if this is new material (the album cover states that it was written between 2000-2002), but for my chronology, this is purgatory from the chaos of ‘Whorror’ & ‘Tenth’, life on Earth, if you will. With ‘Splinters’, the listener is brought to a place that is not quite Heaven, but definitely closer to Hell. Through the use of very, very limited percussions, heavy use of atonal electronics, and the ever present guitar (I should note that the guitar work plays a mostly ambient role as well), fading in/out, vexing the listener that the sins of a life wasted on Earth has only brought them to a place to contemplate what is next.
This is a journey. It is a psychologically charged, and provides what I think to be a very up close & personal view of the artist himself. It is also an extraordinarily beautiful album, and the brooding elements only add to the incredible atmosphere it conjures. This is a stunning album, and if you’re lucky enough to acquire this on vinyl, you will not be disappointed.