Theologian – The Further I Get From Your Star, The Less Light I Feel On My Face   Leave a comment

Theologian is the new project from Leech, the brains behind “Navicon Torture Technologies” and in many ways this is a natural progression of that but trying to describe this CD with any sort of exact detail is very challenging for a reviewer of music. Before that though, I must mention the stunning packaging of this album. Housed in a digibook, not a digipak, the artwork and the general layout is nothing short of exquisite. This is a professional, well-thought out production and it looks like not a dime has been wasted starting from the packaging to the music contained within which is one of the most intriguing and unique releases in years, at least in terms of what is in my music collection. Known as  “industrial” music, the tracks on “The Further I Get from Your Star, the Less Light I Feel on My Face” go beyond that simple musical description. Ambient Progressive Drone might be a better way to sum up the various layers of sounds that interweave throughout the disc. While the  thought of droning soundscapes without any solid guitar riffing might be a turn-off for some, for others it will be a musical revelation when they hear this. This album will also appeal to adventurous doom-fans with a taste for grim and extremely haunting and menacing soundtracks. The concepts of the pieces are based on loneliness, depression, suicide and other distressing elements in life but there is a kind of warmth associated with the tracks that gives you a glimmer of hope that maybe life is not all bad.

The fundamentals of Theologian’s sound is industrial buzz, feedback, crackling noises and blackened electronics that is backed up with expansive distorted dread. If drone-doom metal had have existed in the early 70’s then maybe this is what Tangerine Dream might have sounded like as it’s similar in its space-rock waves of atmospheric sounds. While Tangerine Dream might have made nice background music for intellectual types in the 70’s, the music of Theologian has nothing too relaxing about it. The 25 minutes of “In Times Of Need, We All Go Against Our Natures” is about as testing on the nerves as anything released this year with low-drawn out drones that are constantly building in tension-packed atmosphere. Every now and then the tension is broken and the bleak synth work that slowly drifts in and out of various buzzes and hums is terrifyingly menacing. Lush ambience and a simple melody repeats itself over and over becoming hypnotic and the piece climbs to the stunning last 10 minutes where it becomes heavier, more washed out, more distorted churning droning doom. The highlight of the track to my ears is the haunting voice that wails in the background at first but then appears later right in your face with a burst of chilling anger. This track is pretty typical of the album in general but if you can get though this track in one sitting, the rest of the album will be a breeze to sit through.

Other tracks like “Bearing Bitter Fruit” are more direct and immediate with demonic-sounding synthesizer that bury’s you with cold power. “Unfamiliar Skies” is another pivotal moment in the album where pulsating rhythms collide with blackened distortion. The title track is very cinematic with desolate drones and alienated vocals that sound almost robotic. The album opener, “Zero” is the most, lets say ‘normal’ track on the album with its 70’s space-rock leanings and earth-shattering bass tones. One of the best moments isn’t even mentioned on the packaging, it is the hidden track which is titled ” The Fragility Of The Male Ego” and it is one of the best examples of electronic experimentation done right without sounding tedious. The droning and feedback is kept in balance providing another fine but caustic moment of industrialized drone. It goes without saying that this is pretty extreme and not many people can be expected to get their rocks off listening to this, it is a self-indulgent dirge but I love this stuff. The songs strip your emotions raw with their intensity but this must be said, it is a headphone album best enjoyed alone, no one will be requesting this in a hurry at your next party. Bleak, abrasive and intriguingly challenging, this is a monumental piece of work but for ambient, industrial drone fans only………………9/10
Theologian @ Myspace
Crucial Blast Records

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Posted November 11, 2010 by doommantia in Theologian

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