Nov 2011 15

413 - Path to Hocma413
Category: Experimental
Album: Path to Hocma
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Unique experimental instrumentals marred by fatal vocal selections.


David Pisabarro, the Spanish musician who comprises 413, is undeniably talented. He can create sounds ranging from the soft, airy acoustic “The Ophoist,” which manages to sound bright yet foreboding at the same time, to the fast metal-style guitars and fuzzy rhythm on “The Brigit Mountains,” and so many in between.

Though Pisabarro occasionally falls prey to the traps of excessive experimentation, such as on the six minutes of near silence on bonus track “The Yethunter,” and less than successful sonic mixes, like the fuzz on “The White Mountains,” which makes it sound like an electronic device struggling to start, he effectively creates a mood through his music overall. One of the best moments is “The Rising of the Real Man,” with a dark mood evoked by a combination of soft fluttering guitar and a heavier guitar, with bright, sharp percussion and strings to add to the creepy atmosphere. “The Bindu Sea: Cloudy” shows his Spanish heritage through the light guitar, but with the darker sound of a deep bass and the bluesy feel added by a brass section. On both of these tracks, the seemingly unrelated elements all come together to create a truly unique sound.

However, there is one fatal flaw on many of the tracks, including the otherwise brilliant “Bindu Sea.” Pisabarro uses several guest vocalists on this album, and for the most part, they shout and shriek rather than sing. Their screams are not melodic or genuinely emotional. Buried in fuzz, they try to sound tormented but just end up sounding like someone struggling to sing outside their range, which is not a sound anyone wants to hear. Even on the heavier, metal-inspired songs like “The Hocma Point,” with its loud and fast guitar groove combined with heavy drums, the vocals are too much, pushing it from melodically loud to annoyingly and disjointedly loud. “The White Mountains,” in one all too brief section, features a softer yet substantial vocal that fits well with Pisabarro’s distinctive bright melody, but the strangled raspy vocals cut in and, as they do on so many other spots on this otherwise intriguing and innovative effort, ruin everything.

Track list:

  1. The Town
  2. The Desert of the Real
  3. The Rising of the Real Man
  4. The Bindu Sea: Cloudy
  5. The Brigit Mountains
  6. The White Mountains
  7. The Swamp
  8. The Hocma Point
  9. The Ophoist
  10. The Virus Ophoist
  11. The Yethunter (Bonus Track)

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Elizabeth Green (salomedesade)

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