Thursday, January 15, 2009

Skepticism - Aes

This EP charges right into ceremonious and hypnotic sludge riffs lead by keyboard synth strings, buzzing guitars and mind-numbing bass throb. The sound here is a touch more synthetic than on “Ethere”. Eventually piano, clean guitar strumming and whispered vocals take over and twist around for a few bars until it’s time to bring back the fuzz. This piece is quite relentless, as it is a 28 minute long song that does not let up. This band does not use a 28 minute track to showcase their more experimental side; this is just a half hour of funeral march death doom. Though this material seems a bit underdeveloped at times, there are still some impressive moments. There are gravity defying tempo changes, ever growing slower and deeper, leading us into a nightmarish chasm of colossal repetitive motion. While the guitar stays on an extended monotone crunch riff, the keyboards continue to flow through a never-ending maze of lyrical melodies. At the 10 minute mark they drop in a heavy pipe organ line that lingers for about 30 seconds and then disappears, not to be heard again. About halfway through the piece, the action deteriorates to a lifeless lumbering drone. It is almost a little tedious, until the vocals creep back in and start stirring the mood back to life. Then the keys take the lead again, building anticipation for when the guitars come crashing back in. 10 minutes later, you even get treated to some nice lead guitar soloing. On “Aes” and “Ethere”, you can really hear a band attempting to stretch out so that they may better realize and redefine their own unique style. Many of the experimental aspects of “Ethere” and the deconstructive exercises within “Aes” demonstrate the bands journey towards learning their own limits and feeling along the boundaries of their brave musical vision.


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