Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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Title: He spoke in dead tongues
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Projekt/Ikon
Rated: *****
Fear Falls Burning is a new creature of Belgian musician Dirk Serries', whose long running activity in the areas of ambient and industrial as vidnaObmana surely needs no introduction. His new alias is still a drone-based project, but this time using electric guitars and a bunch of analogue effect pedals as the main sources - "vintage guitar drones" is indeed the laconic self description he offers. "He spoke in dead tongues" is quite a massive debut (recently followed by a self-released tour cd) - two discs, both over 70 minutes, which would be a suicidal choice if Serries didn't know how to grasp the listener's attention even with deliberately monotonous and often lengthy tracks. While occasional doom chords (disc 1, track 2) unavoidably remind of Sunn 00))), the rest of the two cds is made of lighter, intimistic guitar ambient, quite close to a more physical and stripped down version of Growing or Stars of the Lid - a "communicative" sound which surely does good to the emotional impact of the work. Don't expect much layering or variations: every piece basically revolves around a looped sound, be it a guitar chord or a more abstract and ethereal drone (disc 2, track 2). This deliberate reductionism, especially if associated to the mammoth length of the two cds, represents both the charm and the potential weakness of "He spoke in dead tongues", but as for me, the former definitely outweighs the latter. The current result is quite an exquisite listening experience; but I venture that, with a more daring composition and a synthesis of all the inputs offered here, Serries could give birth to an even more memorable work.