Category: Industrial / Dark Ambient / Experimental
Album: The Negative
Blurb: Presenting a more vulnerable and introspective aspect to Brant Showers’ musical identity, SØLVE leads listeners down a decidedly dark but rewarding path.
Dark ambient music tends to act as a sort of tonal representation of the bleakest recesses of human emotion and experience. It should perhaps come as no surprise that Brant Showers’ musical ventures outside of the witch house predilections of ∆AIMON would explore a similarly dark and meditative vibe, showcasing a far more personal exploration into his own perceptions of human nature. Indeed, SØLVE’s The Negative lives up to its title, full of richly textured soundscapes and stimulating rhythms that immediately evoke ritualistic undertones. With “The Negative” presented in four different “perspectives,” SØLVE plays well on its neo-classical underpinnings, the monotony of musical phrases and Showers’ resonant yet disaffected voice declaring, “Out of the darkness, into the fire” over and over again making for a delightfully dismal atmosphere that sets the mood up quite well, even if the track lasts a couple of minutes longer than is necessary in this writer’s estimation. Free from the melodic constraints of his other band, Showers invites listeners on an introspective journey rife with harmonic nuance. For example, the steely thrums of bass synth and the twinkles of contemplative pianos backed by shrill strings on the title track’s second variation builds upon its repetitions, the thunderous clamor of electronic percussion making for a powerful yet subtle climax that is more subdued than the first perspective. The tension that resounds throughout the third perspective is palpable from the start, the foreboding mechanical phrases creating an unnerving rhythm that with the metallic percussion and Showers’ lyrical incantations insinuating themselves into one’s psyche like an unholy mandate, while the fourth and final variation stands out for its bristling trip-hop beats and distorted metallic shrieks, somber pianos, and Showers’ rhythmic vocals in a manner that is almost catchy. Similarly, “For Worse” hits with a rather engaging drumbeat that is almost danceable and a simple yet striking synth line offset by the atonal vocal chants, but it is perhaps “Amor Vacui” that is the most notably divergent from the formula that pervades the majority of The Negative. Certainly, the track begins with ominous rumblings of dark ambience, suddenly bursting into a steady and organic beat topped off by resounding atmospheres that along with Showers voice makes for a gloomy but lovely melody. The lyrical content on the album is understandably sparse, but despite that being a deliberate choice in order to keep the focus on evoking a more spiritual ambience, this writer might have found Showers’ struggles with “addressing faults and limitations, and digging deep within” more relatable had they either not been present at all or if they had been further extrapolated. Be that as it may, SØLVE is not a radical departure from ∆AIMON as much as it is simply another, more personal extension of Brant Showers’ musical identity, and though The Negative presents a dark path for listeners to tread, the rewards to be reaped from an artist baring his soul in so vulnerable a manner are rather plentiful.
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Storming the Base CD
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)