Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Westwind (@)
Title: Ravage
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Steelwork Maschine (@)
Distributor: Steelwork Maschine
Rated: *****
Westwind's 7th effort, the double disc set of 'Ravage' released earlier this year on Steelwork Maschine, is a monumentally epic narrative of the apocalypse that will leave you wanting more of its devastation when it's over. At which point you may want to look into its limited edition companion EP entitled 'Eliminate! Exterminate! Eradicate!' (and this reviewer plans on doing exactly that).

'Ravage' is immersed in meanings much too deep to justly delve into here; but as the title of disc 1 suggests, 'Doomsday Songs' provides the soundtrack for a not only decaying, but dying earth. Evolving from sinister, pulsating synth drones layered in samples to viral carnivallian dirges to pseudo-theremin laden marches to droning feedback and noise to almost channeling 'Fragile' era NIN laced with Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, this disc doesn't flow perfectly smooth, but then again, when Yawm Al-Qiyamah comes, I doubt that it will come smoothly, or with such a great soundtrack.

Disc 2, 'Requiems for Collapsing Cities' is rich with funeral marches, dirges and the aforementioned requiems. Pounding, martial law inspired percussion, drones and the ever throbbing basslines lay the groundwork for scattered guitars, synths, religious sampling and a variety of ethnic instrumentation which come together to pay homage to the remains of a once thriving earth. The overall tone of this disc is much more dark, brooding and hopeless than the first, and comes together with a bit more of a seamless flow. The tension gradually and continuously builds throughout the disc, making the listener almost feel the impending doom slowly overcome.

'Ravage' seems to very loosely follow a storyline, but more so pulls together many obscure references to apocalypse from a plethora of different religions and viewpoints as inspiration for this epic. These two discs, the first being a bit more experimental, the second being a bit more structured and dark, combine so many bits and pieces of different genres and styles that it nearly defies categorization, but I think it a safe bet to say that all of its elements congregate under the umbrella of martial industrial, with its tales of death, destruction, plague, etc and the musical groundwork to make you feel that the end of days may truly be upon us.