05/07/2011

Review: Shadowdream – Part Of The Infinity

Nordsturm Productions, 2008


Tracklisting:

1) Anticyclonic Storm Of Jupiter – The Great Red Spot
2) A Trip Through The Neptune Clouds
3) Inside The Caves Of Mars
4) The Great Dark Spot
5) Unknown Circles Of Venus
6) Uranus Winter Solstice
7) Planetary Rings Of Saturn
8) Comets Flew Beyond Pluto’s Horizon

I’m often told that everyone’s paying attention to the best-known acts in the dark ambient scene, while the underground remains unexplored, with hidden gems all over. Well, this time, I’ve decided to descend into the aforementioned and see what it has to offer. Mind you, I’ve been a bit biased about my choice, as I’ve picked the project of a countrymate (and friend), namely Rastko Perisic and his project Shadowdream, a formerly black metal band that turned ambient in the meantime – with this very album.

Now, from what Ive just said, one might conclude that this album will radiate bleak ambience all over, due to its roots in black metal, but in fact, it has nothing to do with the project’s tumultuous past at all. Note how I haven’t even said that the album is dark ambient – I just said ambient. Not that there isn’t a dark vibe to it, but the overall ambience simply wouldn’t account for the term dark, as it’s heavily reliant on MIDI samples and peaceful drones to achieve its atmosphere. The cover and title of the album clearly state the lyrical topic that one can find here, but it needs to be said that this isn’t really as revealing as one might think – don’t expect this to sound like Gustaf Hildebrand, for instance. While there’s definitely a feeling of deep space exploration to this record, it’s more reminiscent of an early astronomer looking through a telescope and discovering new, distant worlds visually, than an actual space voyage. In short, you’re much more likely to feel as if you were in Galileo’s observatory back in the day, than aboard a high-tech spaceship. The numerous neoclassical elements, however hidden at first glance, add significantly to this feeling.

“Part Of The Infinity” lacks the very same thing that Galileo’s telescope did, however – subtlety. The compositions feel somewhat rushed, without sufficient time used to let them develop, and then just droning on and on for too long. It’s not a question of ideas, but of balance, the very same thing that separates truly high-class acts from all others. The use of MIDI samples is too obvious, as you can hear exactly where the loops start over, whereas the high end is too prominent in the mix, which gets a bit annoying when youre already 5-6 minutes into the song – exactly the opposite effect of what one should strive for with this sort of music. All this makes it impossible for the album to really grab you and suck you into its atmosphere; the listener remains too aware of the fact that he’s actually listening to something, and not experiencing something.

The genius and effort invested into this piece of work are as clear as a bell, but so is the relative inexperience of the composer. The album has all components of a high-quality work, but they just seem to have been assembled somewhat awkwardly. There are excellent ideas flowing throughout the album, and these are aplenty, but the final product just feels a bit too unpolished to be considered truly remarkable. That being said, whether you should check this album out depends on whether you’d be willing to try to enjoy a product made in an anonymous Chinese factory. It can be just as good, really, as long as you’re willing to compromise.

6/10

Official Shadowdream website
Shadowdream @ MySpace

Buy CD via Amazon.com