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Dark ambient soundscape is too long and repetitive - 30%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, October 14th, 2014

Odd that until now, I hadn't reviewed anything by a Brazilian act even though I must be fast wearing out my welcome here. Already this one-man act from Santa Catarina in the southern part of Brazil has notched up seven releases but not had anything reviewed here at MA. "Recede" is an early demo of mostly instrumental dark ambient / black metal recordings.

The recording starts off with cold blowy wind and an empty space of lonely ticking before transforming into soft synth hum and whippy tremolo guitar in the far background. The black metal element is so far back in the mix that the drumming ends up very feather-light rubber-flippy which might not be a good thing. The main impression I get though is one of extreme isolation and a dark, cold, perhaps damp atmosphere. Guitars register as a noisy electric buzz as they recede deeper and deeper in the distance.

As it turns out, the black metal influence lasts for only a short time before the album returns to blustery-breeze ambience and embarks on a more acoustic journey of repeating tone and melody loops, and more synthesiser hum and drone. While the sound art aspect is not too bad, it is very long and repetitive, and the generic warm-toned synthesiser buzz adds very little to the overall proceedings. This is the general state for most of the demo: a wild blowy and desolate soundscape, cold and remote, its lone inhabitant perhaps in despair at ever meeting another person or escaping this particular open-air prison, nearly drowned out by synthesiser wash.

I concede that "Recede" is a stab at creating an all-ambient experimental sound art work and at such an early stage in the Arvorar project, its creator must be commended for taking risks with his music. For what it is though, the recording could have been cut right back to two-thirds of what it is without losing its essential core and aim. There needs to be more exploration of tone and sound to convey as much despair and suffering as can be found in the music and the general scenario; a sharper edge to the music here and there might have accentuated the intense emotion and brought out the desolation much more.