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Contrastate - I CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A spooky dream-like electronic recording which conjures up images of ghosts fleeting in and out between trees in a dead, dark, leafless forest.

'I Just Am' is the huge 17 minute opener - replete with drones, squeaks and an all permeating bleakness. Feelings of impending doom increase throughout this track, particularly after 12 minutes when some semblance of tune appears using bass tones and manipulated elongated stretches of vocals. Oriental strings appear towards the conclusion but are hugely reverbed and electronically treated.

'Invocation To The Rite Of Birth' introduces spoken vocals over a bass drum. It sounds like the bloke's trying to convey a serious message, but I haven't got a clue what he's on about. And that's despite it being recited in perfect English. No matter, this track is superb in it's execution. Like a coiled spring pulled back to snapping point. Industrial bangs and swirling keyboards add to the atmosphere as deep 'Zoviet France-like' droning vocals encompass the recording. A beautiful tune slowly emerges from the gloom, making this the highlight of 'i'.

A ridiculous high pitched mediaeval vocal materialises on 'The Rite Of Birth', which will have you shaking your head in bewilderment. It is quickly joined by deeper vocals all of which sing about some sort of Biblical event. God knows what... A strange glossolalia develops with multiple voices singing at high speed on this entirely vocal track. It's bizarre to say the least.

'Locked Inside A Dying Horse' gets back to the drone-like overall feel of the album. Incredibly dark and somewhat unsettling. This sounds like it was recorded in a deep, dark cave somewhere in Scotland, with water dripping down the walls. One thing's for sure - if nothing else 'Contrastate' knew how to create dark atmospherics.

The cd only track 'October Dawn' continues in this vein but with the welcome return of those oriental strings. This sounds uncannily like 'Zoviet France' circa 1989.

The dreamiest (or dreariest) is left for last with the instrumental 'Black December'. Comparisons could be made with 'Lull' circa 1994. Solely comprised of keyboards, it is played in the darkest of manner, with groans that sound like a huge castle draw-bridge being brought up and down.

An excellent dark and foreboding recording, with that definite 'Contrastate' approach. As is usual with the 'Tesco Functional' label the quality is high, being crisp and clear throughout.

Dobermensch | 4/5 |


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