Saturday, January 2, 2010

Achromatic Cold - Despair (2010)

| Dark Ambient | Drone | Noise |

Despair is the first proper solo release by Achromatic Cold. It shows the enhancement from the earlier drone works into a complete conceptual and atmospheric blend of Ambient, Noise and Drone affairs. The album consists of 14 songs, some standard songs and some just conceptual, ranging around 40 minutes. Four tracks were previously released on the demo EP Lacerate (The Horror And The Suffering, Losing Mind, Wreckage of a Once Happy Life, Unstable Sanity (Suicide)), while the other tracks were recorded completely live and without the use of overdub.

I divide the album in four essential parts. The first is the Drone part, consisting mostly of the Demo tracks. The second is the Ambient part, which highlights are the low-volume A Hundred Silent Mountains, the keyboards-led Dark Fortress and the highly conceptual No Hope (Refugee Shelter At The Sewers). The third part is the Noise one, but unfortunately it's the shortest, with just a few songs. Despite, it's the most amazing part, and the songs The Resistance, a completely arrhythmical and harsh work on percussion, and The Complete Destruction of Hometown, a guitar+drums noise affair, are doubtlessly the high points of the album. The fourth part is essentially the conceptual part, and it's the only non-musical part. Besides the lack of lyrics, the album and the songs holds a story themselves, which can be perceived since the artwork and the titles through the own song structures that shows the progress of the concept.

I think that, besides the whole conceptual part, the album is still good enough to hold itself as separate songs, since only a few are concept-only and most were recorded before the whole conceptual part was built. Some might still find the split with akaaka, Insubstancial/Smoke, a better album, but Despair shows a very visible progress from the works on the demo. In overall, it's a pretty decent album - although mostly for fans of ambient/drone/noise music, of course - and the whole conceptual work makes it even more special.

Artwork by Zdzisław Beksiński
Catalog: VB-04 (Velvet Blue Records)

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