Published on Saturday, 12 November 2016 20:52
Album title: Somewhere Along Our Memory...
Release date: 7 December 2016
Label: Distant Voices
01. ...era la tuya
02. D'un ciel de nuit
03. Kiss In October
05. When The First Snow Fell...
06. The Way She Smiles
I've been following this rather mysterious French label named Distant Voices for quite some time now and believe me that they hide some real treasures in their well refined roster. Mostly you'll find bands that are into ambient and atmospheric black metal, but not only, there are mysterious deeply underground artists like Aube Grise, Celestial Dirge, Misery, Arbre and some others, and the latest addition to their list is this one man act Sadness, the artist behind it hears on the name Antón Ojeda and comes from Mexico City. The album in question was already released on cassette by Depressive Illusions earlier this year, but this re-release by Distant Voices is not just a typical re-release, it has mastered versions of the songs, plus there are unreleased tracks and an alternative artwork. The sound is much better here thus those already beautiful compositions make even bigger impact on listeners senses. I couldn't believe how many releases Sadness already has and I didn't know about it, so many demos, EPs, different collaborations, splits, singles, albums,... just check the Bandcamp page and you'll be occupied with this band for a while.
Before playing this album be sure to be in the right mood, get comfortable, put your headphones on and fill your glass with the best wine you find, because Somewhere Along Our Memory... is a delicacy, it's a beautiful violence, yet raw in its essence, it's a pouring bliss, it's emotion transformed into sound and it's melancholy incarnated. The main influence of Sadness can be found in that primordial Nordic black metal heritage and in the early Alcest albums, yet in the most serene dark ambient and atmospheric music you can find out there. There are traces of shoegaze, post-rock and of course metalgaze, also some neo-classical music and drone, but it's not really felt like that, as all of those elements and influences manifest in one coherent cinematic dark voyage that brings sadness in your heart yet filling your soul with diverse emotions, with love, hate and some kind of sickening intensity that last for more than 70 minutes.
The album, Somewhere Along Our Memory..., is taking you on a contemplative journey, like the title suggests, it opens sonic portals that allow the one who enters to explore his most deepest feelings, memories that allow the one to dream away. The album is like a story which you follow, it plays through with some kind of a blend of serene melancholy and always lurking darkness that occasionally boils over. Mostly based on atmospheric gloomy and murky guitar drones, captivating melodic passages, gloomy synths, acoustic passages, tender piano touches, sometimes it's decorated with shadowy angelic voices, the whole thing slowly and carefully drives towards its peak in the dramatic, cold and epic soundscapes of almost 20 minutes long dichotomic "When The First Snow Fell". The album is mostly instrumental, but the vocals when appear are mostly shivery shrieks, here and there some amazing heart rending cleans like in the last haunting song "The Way She Smiles", as well at certain parts some tender female vocals are brought into the picture. Some might find certain elements that can remind to early works of Burzum, also to Bathory, it can partially even remind to ColdWorld and Woods Of Desolation or to early works of Sun Devoured Earth and sometimes to those early dark ambient artists from Cold Meat Industry, but the final feeling is far from that. While being cold in its essence the sound of Sadness embraces with some kind of sweetness and strange warmth, it gives some sort of fake hope and even if the sound is quite rough it has that necessary accessibility that allows the listener to not be distracted by outside world. Don't expect to find any extreme blast, neither any technical guitar riffs, this is pure emotion for people who are willing to embrace violent sadness in their hearts, it's melancholy transformed into sound.
Review written by: T.V.