Worms of the Earth

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review of Azal'ucel from Convivial Hermit magazine

From Convivial Hermit Magazine


 Heavily steeped in Luciferian witchcraft, Azal’Ucel by the US do-it-yourselfer Dan Barrett aka Worms of the Earth is an album of fairly traditional dark ambient that does not reinvent anything, but draws cunningly on the genre’s established apparatus to provide a wide and diverse collection of soundscapes. With that almost everything has been said, but don’t take it as an indication that Azal’Ucel is just another expressionless face in the thick crowd of Raison d’Être disciples. Mr. Barrett has a very interesting way of using his samples and blocks of sounds to ensure flowing dynamics and depth. Produced by genre heavyweight Robert Rich, Azal’Ucel is dark ambient where _things happen_, the standard bone rattles, hollow winds and teeth-grinding creaks are actually often arranged as rail tracks bringing the music onwards at a pace forbidding sleep mode. Some tracks rely on restless percussions that keep you alert while always looking out the window for glimpses of the odd peril or arresting “visual” detail. The slower, more subterranean tracks, where conventional beats are not to be found, are also bursting with invisible activity. The sound of water trickling over old stone, the suggestion of flames flickering on the far wall of a dark cave, the faint rumble of battle on the excellent closer “Tearing down the Christian Pantheon”, everything tastefully falls into place and smears deep colors on the sonic signals. There is almost a storytelling function at work there, at the (generally controlled) risk of sometimes causing some confusion as to the story’s current elements and whereabouts. Finally, I should like to commend the snippets of sacred chanting used here and there, a very formulaic proposal in dark ambient, but one that doesn’t grow old, especially when done right. I think I recognized some Hildegard von Bingen in there, but I’m not 100% positive. Haven’t listened to good old Hilde in a long time, shame on me. The esoteric background and long, cryptic song titles may offer an additional thrill for some, but know that the music itself is no instruction guide to a kabbalistic ritual. Though scented candles and chalk patterns on the floor would spice up the experience, I guess. - Bertrand Garnier

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