Music Reviews

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Artist: Dolmen (@)
Title: Incantations Verse One
Format: CD
Label: Skean Dhu
Rated: *****
First off, a note concerning the state of the music industry. The label, Skean Dhu has closed its doors. "After seven years we had to call it quits. The idea of actually buying music is foreign to the new generation. The final nail in our coffin was P2P networks. When we were sending out our promos to reviewers, our cd’s were already been seeded and downloaded. You can’t succeed as a business when your product is stolen from right under you." To my knowledge the reviewers at Chain DLK do not do this, and I certainly have not. As someone who thinks that copyright will eventually implode upon itself through the actions of the RIAA and the quest for the perpetual copyright, this is not that surprising. People really do not care about the idea of copyright anymore. I have had people infringe on my music on several occasions as well. That said, we really need to support the underground labels out there. Most people who run labels in this scene do so while maintaining a day job or aggressively touring to make enough to support themselves. It’s a tough gig. We really shouldn’t make it tougher. Let’s face it – most labels in this scene will give you a decent taste for free anyway, unlike the majors who peddle only the hit and then hope that you buy the disc of filler to go with it. If you find something you like, support itthat is, unless you’re just waiting for the next boy band or Britney Spears clone to put out an album. OK, now let’s check out the album itself. According to the website, "Dolmen is a collaborative effort between Jason Sloan and Steven K. Smith of Cleveland, Ohio. Since 2002 they have constructed an engaging and powerful new palette of evolving atmospheres and sonic textures. Sloan and Smith enlist a heavily processed and manipulated arsenal of guitars, drums, bass and samplers. While using many traditional instruments, at times it is impossible to tell what type of instruments are being played. This in turn gives the sound a timeless, transitory and almost apocalyptic feel." Not sure if I would take it to the apocalyptic level but this is solid dark ambient for the most part, although some depart from this formula. For example, "Forgotten Ritual" brings in a bit noisier element with some well placed feedback and distortion. "Residual Haunting II" brings in some drumming and ethnic percussion over a synth line with mostly unintelligible voice. At 15.28, "A Past Life Reconstructed," is the longest song on the album, incorporating elements from the previous tracks. It slowly evolves a kind of structure with rhythmic synth washes and insistent, yet understated, drumming. Overall, a pleasant listen. This is part one of a two disc series. This disc weighs in at around 48 minutes.



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