Angel Of Decay – Covered In Scars

up_090505_angelofdecayAngel of Decay is a another project from Jonathan Canady, the man behind the now defunct Dead World and Deathpile projects among others. This time Canady is focusing his energy on creating evocative Dark Ambient using minimal analog gear, and that’s exactly what he has done. The premise for the album is drawn from his own experience with nightmares, and there are liner notes included that state all text was written down upon being awoken from these nightmares. This accompanied by the gorgeous and unique artwork set a fitting table to begin. “Blood On The Cement” opens the disc, it’s a subtle slowly shifting groan of deep bass and sweeping wisps of electronics. “Severed Living Dog’s Head” is the next track and provides the first bit of grime into the equation with a throbbing pulse and pained, yowling reverberations. There is a chained agony to the sounds, which probably sounds melodramatic, but really to hear it that is all I can picture. The slow throb providing a steady base to these tormented creaks and swells it’s so visual, and acute, its curious to see the brief liner notes for the track state simply, “Severed living dog’s head, I was careful not to hurt the stump. It seemed happy.” The shortest track here at just over 5 minutes is “Sick Time Frame” which is up next. This track uses a more subdued and wind swept approach, deep rumbles and swells, heavy low end and a surreal sort of accent with mid and higher ranged bubbling electronics. “The Crash” is the longest piece at almost 14 minutes. The anticipation that builds through this track is handled so well. The subtlety and ease of transitions and the cautious restraint as things build and contract. The premise here is one of seeing a helicopter crash and the aftermath when the pilots are alright, but the citizens crushed beneath are not, the text contains more details that are intriguing. “Her Head Was On The Floor,” lurches to life with a deep slow swell, that rises and falls through out the track among lots of creaking metallic reverberations and boiler hisses. There are smooth high tones that sweep through and give a nice balance to the abyssal lows. “JFK Circus”, “Face Print” one of the dreary highlights here, and the title track round out the release. This whole record has a richness of tone and a tangible dread that encompasses everything within it. Reading the liner notes quickly puts a context to the sounds you are hearing whether abstract or concrete. It is such a visual album that without those notes it would fill your head with images of something equally unsettling. There is nothing obvious in the sonics that frames the imagery in the text either, it’s a very open to interpretation undertaking that doesn’t dictate anything to the listener and truly feels like an record you could lose yourself in if you take the time out of your day to give it the proper attention. This is a great release, and the inclusion of the liner notes is something I personally really appreciate as it’s rare to get that kind of insight into this kind of music, particularly when it’s something this personal. I have heard just about all of Jonathan Canady’s output over the years and “Covered In Scars” may well be my favorite. – Scott

~ by scottsplatter on January 3, 2009.

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