Thursday, December 5, 2013

Paths - I Turn My Body from the Sun

This is some variety of black metal-lite focused on crafting a moody psychedelia through an atmosphere of post-rock stylings. It has little metal riffing, but it uses enough aesthetics of lo-fi black metal to resemble that more than classic psychedelic rock. The element of jamming is almost entirely relegated to the guitar - the drums are programmed, so they generally work with a looped motif in each section while the guitar does all of the exploring. The vocals are a secondary atmospheric and rhythmic element, a suitable complement to relatively minimalist music, reverberated black metal rasps over a shallow landscape of guitars and drums.

The production is limp, but it fits the mood of the music better than richer production would - there are no bright peaks or elaborate textures, just a smooth stream of a certain feeling that flows forth from the beginning. It begins with several minutes of music underlying the infamous "mad as hell" speech from the film [i]Network[/i], and the music never picks up, it never grabs you, it doesn't kick into gear, it slowly begins moving and plods with a certain feeling until the end. The songwriting is spotty, but this seems to benefit the music because it gets going and drifts off before slowly drifting back. It is very subtle, there is hardly a moment on the album that could be presented as a highlight, but it works well as a whole. It is odd because the feeling here thrives when approached without expectations - it is subtle, almost recessed and hidden in the background.

In a style that I do not typically favor, this is a worthwhile album. Give it a few listens over a few months and think about it.

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