Seirom – Sparkle Night

R-4501981-1366678995-9084While the prolific Maurice de Jong (more commonly known as Mories) is more well known at this point for his putrid slurry of black, doom, and depraved noise under the signs of Gnaw Their Tongues and De Magia Veterum (among others), for myself he is foremost the man behind the blindingly radiant Seirom. Since 2011 Seirom has released a few digital EPs and one double album, incorporating elements of shoegaze, noise, post-industrial electronics, and occasional traces of black metal into the project’s unique, sample dusted wall of ecstatic sound. It’s the type of bright and noisy approach that tends to immediately conjure the term ‘blissful’, and while that is sometimes an appropriate descriptor for what Mories is doing with Seirom, it inadequately represents the feeling that is most present: a cathartic euphoria ascending from a depth of pain and melancholy. There’s an intensity intrinsic to that emotion that carves Seirom into a niche distinct from other blissed out bands.

That being said, compared to 1973 and the digital releases, Sparkle Night sees Mories taking a more restrained approach to Seirom. Although the wall of noise that manages to be both harsh and euphonious is still prominent here, it doesn’t dominate the sound to the same extent that it did previously. The scant vocals and sampled voices of 1973 don’t make an appearance here either, nor do the frantic blast beats or mournful cello. This partially stripped down arrangement allows more subtlety and clarity in the compositions of Sparkle Night, with the layers of sound more independent and clearly defined. The moments of overwhelming, ecstatic melancholy are still there; the title track revels in the huge and gorgeous sound that Sierom is (mostly un)known for, but it’s framed by more discreet, clean picked riffs and tremolo melodies, along with softer, less rapturous key drones and distantly pulsing bass. “Only Miss You When It Snows” opens with a simple piano melody that slowly shifts over to jubilant and pleasing melodies that wouldn’t be out of place on an album by any American post-rock band, while an industrial sounding beat grinds on, oddly cheerfully, behind the waves of distorted beyond recognition guitars and keys. The second half of this final song exemplifies how I feel about this release; the grating beat slowly drifts away as seraphic voices wash over a gently picked riff and the returning piano wanderings. It’s, without exaggerating, absolutely gorgeous and even reverent(a strange thing to say of a Mories release) sounding.

I’m glad to see Mories experimenting with Seirom and expanding it’s sound in this way. I loved the corybantic frenzy of 1973, and while he could have easily repeated it, Mories made the wise choice of expanding and altering Seirom’s core sound with this cassette by softening the edges to allow new textures and moods. It’s a satisfying maturation, marred only by the fact that it’s so short, only just pushing 20 minutes. Regardless, it’s another fine release, and leaves me with a healthy thirst for how Mories will incorporate these adaptations into the band’s (hopeful) next full length. -Jake

Sulphurous Productions

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~ by jakemoran on June 12, 2013.

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