Visions of The Hereafter - Visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory
OK. Look at those titles: ‘Abyss of Hell/Clouds of Fire’. ‘Fall of the Damned(into Hell)’. What we have here is obviously some kind of Celtic Frosty Black/Death Metal thing, isn’t it? Well, no. What we DO have is a one-man project from Switzerland’s Phillipe Gerber, formerly of Heat From A DeadStar, with a vaguely uneasy amalgamation of Electronic, Industrial, Ambient and Post-rock/metal.
Opener ‘Ninth Circle’ has sparse guitars and drums and Sci-fi whooshing noises all sitting on top of a monotone keyboard drone, a bit like what you might expect the soundtrack to a movie of ‘Dead Space’ to sound like. ‘Throne of God’ is a bit perkier, bass driven post-rock with a wordless chanted vocal sample and pattering drums, but ‘Abyss of Hell’ brings it all back down again, with a simple three note melody , and variations thereof, repeated over and over. It pulses and throbs like a very sad machine.
And so on.
There’s clearly some kind of religious theme here, but as the album is almost entirely instrumental, you need to derive your own conclusions. It’s all a bit grim, repetitive and slightly unsettling. Very little variation in pace. Which is not, it must be said, entirely a bad thing. I like it, really I do, but it slips into the background quite easily, only occasionally bursting out and making itself felt. There’s a brief moment of abrasive, dense guitar during ‘The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit’, but it doesn’t last long.
For what it’s worth, the highlight for me is the last song, ‘Fall of the Damned (Into Hell)’, almost a Space-rock version of Red Sparowes. Almost. Close, as they say, but no cigar this time.
Posted: Fri 5 October 2012