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Sun Devoured Earth - Sounds Of Desolation (2012) - Review

Band: Sun Devoured Earth
Album title: Sounds Of Desolation
Release date: 4 July 2012
Label: Self-Released

Tracklisting:
01. The Past    
02. Not Meant   
03. Esuna, Curaga   
04. The Martyr   
05. Shut In   
06. Benbarhahetojuka   
07. Loser   
08. And We Disappear   
09. Chorus Of Passing   
10. Anxiety   
11. To Abandon
12. The Future


Sun Devoured Earth had it's year of over productivity last year while releasing tons of music, as it be albums, EP's, splits and so on. This is the second release from the band this year, after a split album with British ambient black metal act Wounder. If you are not familiar with this Latvian one man band and you like melancholic atmospheric music then you are missing a lot. Sun Devoured Earth offers one of the most intriguing examples of how to make melancholic music that touches your soul and helps you explore dark hidden corners of your own existence. The name of the artist behind the Sun Devoured Earth is Vadim Vasilyev. He started with Sun Devoured Earth in 2009, with more ambient black metal oriented kind of sounds, but release after release he's approaching to his own mix of shoegaze, ambient, gothic rock, depressive black metal, dream pop and yet you could find something more.
As soon as we dive into Sounds Of Desolation, there's evident progress since his last output. In it's basis this is a rock album, because it's based on the rhytmic sections, guitar melodies, drumbeats that could be classified as one, but it's calm, gentle, almost romantic and captivating. Dreamy keyboards, seductive vocal interpretation that doesn't stand out, sometimes slow doomy pace in "Loser" or picturesque, gloomy atmospheres of "Anxiety" are the things that should take you with the flow of Sounds Of Desolation. A lot of piano touches, The Cure kind of melancholic guitar play, a lot of overall reverb, especially in vocals should bring tears of joy in the eyes of every devoted fan of romantic side of gothic music. The guitars in "The Martyr", "Benbarhahetojuka",... are giving a lot of memories to albums like Bloodflowers or Disintegration from before mentioned The Cure, although the vibe is more similar to what Alcest and the likes are doing lately, with a touch of integrated atmospheres and elements that could be found also within bands such as Cocteau Twins, Joy Division and even Pink Floyd. But, don't be misguided by the names I mentioned, because Sun Devoured Earth is stylistically quite away from those artists and at the same time breathes with them. Folk harmonica on "Not Meant" is a nice nostalgic surprise, giving some warmth at the very beginning, "Chorus Of Passing" builds slowly with delicate piano, amazing, slightly distorted guitar and gloomy vocals make this track the most provocative and picturesque up here. Post-punk bass line in "To Abandon" shows the unlimited creativity of the author. Yet, there's a black metal base to be discovered in before mentioned "To Abandon" and in ghastly dark "Shut In". There's a sample from the movie "The Man Who Wasn't There" directed by Coen brothers in 2001 heard at the beginning of "Anxiety". The pace is slow, sounds are dark, production is not to clean and it's right this way for the witnessed music. The palete of sounds that are put so well together make this release one of the best from this band till now and one of the most intriguing in the, let's say, post-rock, ambient, gothic, shoegaze,... fields lately. Though this album does not scream from it's originality, still offers an amazing sonic experience.
Sounds Of Desolation is a compact piece of twelwe atmospheric and dark tracks that are flowing nicely, without unnecessary experiments is giving to devoted listener a fantastic musical journey into mysterius dark world that Vadim Vasilyev is crafting for us. Why don't discover this piece of magnificient music, as it's available as "name your price" download from bandcamp. Recommended!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Treha Sektori (feat. Sam Vaney and Kristoffer Rygg)
Graphic artist: Dehn Sora
Album title: The Sensation Of Being One Of Them [EP/Book]
Release date: 15 September 2015
Label: Cyclic Law/Cyclic Press

French graphic designer and musician Dehn Sora (aka Treha Sektori), collaborates with Swiss composer Sam Vaney, aka Muhd (of Cortez fame), as well as Kristoffer Rygg from Ulver, who contributes vocals to "The Sense Of Dust And Sheer". The addition of these two musicians to the project really makes "The Sense Of Dust And Sheer" feel different from previous Treha Sektori tracks. We are still given the same ritualistic repetitions throughout this 25 minute piece. However, the dynamics of this release move Treha Sektori into a new level of musicianship and begins to transcend what was previously expected of a Treha Sektori release. The listener will find all the trademarks of Treha Sektori on this release, but you will also notice that there is a depth here, a deeply meditative quality is present, which adds to the more ritualistic elements we have grown to know and love from Treha Sektori. The rises and falls of intensity flow naturally, we are taken from paranoid whispers and dreamy synths to an almost tribal hammering of percussion. The harsher vocals in these sections fit perfectly, not only adding to the suspense and buildup of the tracks, but giving the listener a means of emotional release.

Read a full review HERE