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Impurfekt - Crawling (2013) - Review

Band: Impurfekt
Album title: Crawling
Release date: 15 September 2013
Label: CRL Studios

01. Dysthymia   
02. Nightmares   
03. The Nihilist   
04. Fallen   
05. Dark Journey   
06. Did You See Death   
07. The Raven   
08. Black Bile   
09. Phantom Train   
10. Asylum
11. Dysthymia (Reprise)

And here's the fourth album from Seattle based one-man band Impurfekt. Another sonic exploration to enter your most profound dark corners of the mind. This time more chilling than ever before, more emotionally intense, more gentle, intimate or even elaborate if you want. The man behind Impurfekt, Aaron Russel, has mastered till perfection how to carry away the listener in a world of darkest dreams you can imagine, his compositions are becoming more and more flowing with each release, airy, but yet holding a huge amount of schizophrenic moments. Crawling is an album to chill out and relax, it has some things that were heard on his previous EP In Loving Memory, but still there are a lot of those dark passages from his most significant albums like Saviour or even Human. You can't miss a lot of progression in Impurfekts sound and if before mentioned EP was an experiment in instrumental trip hop - chill wave waters, this is certainly one step further when implemented with the darkest sounds ever created by this man.

It's not an easy task to label Impurfekt's sound, it never was, but elements of trip hop, industrial, ambient, new age music are here, there's also smell of so called cyber elements. Aarons vocals became more distant, with more warmth, there's no anger anymore, everything is more calm, it's like another instrument to fulfil the atmosphere, but still he delivers it in his typical whispering style. And the whole ambiance of Crawling is so melancholic, scary intimate, just listen to outstanding "Dark Journey" or beautiful "Asylum", where Aarons sister Kara Russell takes over the vocal duties with her ethereal, emotional and angelic voice,... transcendental experience, a warm breeze embraces you. In a way it reminded me the most chilling things that Enigma or less known Autumn's Grey Solace ever did. In the rest some might find also some resemblances with acts like The Future Sound Of London, Massive Attack, In Strict Confidence and similar.

I find it very well thought the use of some samples in a couple of tracks, in a very interesting way it breaks what could become monotone. Nice piano touches, some strings here and there to deepen the atmosphere. How glomy everything is on "Fallen" where such a great dark synth layers in substantiation with peculiar bass lines and weird percussions give way to chants that add another dimension. The darkest thing up here is the track "Did You See Death", this horrific, down-tempo ambiance should be a portal into your worst nightmares. Or a little bit upbeat, but yet claustrophobic "Black Bile" gives some shivers when kind of vibrant piano and melting synths play together in an delightful manner. It's a strange thing and I believe that you got the picture... Crawling has two oposite polarities, one is the warmth that embraces the listener, the other one is disturbing state of entrapment with no way out of darkness. It's deeply melancholic, but it has its brightness that comes to the surface with each consequent listen, sometimes is minimalistic, yet sometimes becomes very dense.

In a way the whole album gives a feeling that we are listening to one track divided in eleven parts. I don't know if it's meant that way but I've got a feeling that it's a conceptual work. Lyrics are intimate, with thoughtful deep words, pure dark poetry that occasionally is giving a ray of hope and escape from grimness. "I'm here to dry your eyes / I'll be here to dry your eyes / don't be afraid to sleep softly / don't be afraid to dream your dreams."

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8/10