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Bass Communion - Loss CD (album) cover


Bass Communion


Progressive Electronic

3.27 | 16 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Well, I guess I'll be the first to review this wonderful album by Steve Wilson. BASS COMMUNION, for those who don't know, is one of Steve Wilson's many side projects (although it should be considered one of his best). Instead of being Prog-pop as in BLACKFIELD, or the great Heavy Prog of PORCUPINE TREE, BASS COMMUNION takes form as an ambient project. Loss is built around the aural atmosphere created by a lone piano, although there is much more to it than that. It is an observation of the emotional attack one feels after the loss of something dear to them. This slow and eerie album does exactly what it is set out to do: to express emotion in the form of notes and atmospheres. Loss is dark, melancholic, and if you're a little bit like me, beautiful.

I must immediately admit: this album is not for everyone. It is MUCH different than any of PORCUPINE TREE's works, and takes a large amount of attention to fully take in the emotion expressed in the music. If it turns out this music interests you, then I say go for it. In my opinion, it is rewarding when you feel the effect and power of this song, and worth going through the pain of it.

As I said earlier, this album is based around a lone piano. In the first section of the song, the piano meanders around dissonant intervals, creating a sense of questioning and confusion. As you float through the first ten minutes, you will sense that other sounds start to enter the picture. There's scraping and other unidentifiable sound effects, that add to the feeling you have as the listener. At around halfway through the first part, the piano takes a step back as those growing ambiances take over.

From then, there is a long period of a wind like moaning. It is hard to understand what this sound is, but it is a painful sound - going back to the theme of Loss. The crackle of a record sits underneath it as you can hear a random plucked instrument, adding even more to the emotion. After maybe 5 minutes, a new sound takes form - a choir. The moaning wind continues while the distant choir changes notes every so often. Then the real pain hits in - a close up, distinct moaning. It is my belief that this moaning is a low flute of some sort, but I am not sure even to this day. All I know is that the music and atmosphere here sucks you in right as you enter the second part.

The second part of Loss starts off with the return of the piano, this time with deep, dissonant notes. By this time, if you are really focused on the music, you have been sucked in, and you take every low note as another needle in the never ending beautiful pain of this song. The low notes start messing with you - they drop off in pitch, and soon after a new sound enters. A falling sound effect, of some electronic sort, starts to grow on top of the fading and dropping piano notes. For around 10 minutes this pain continues, until the piano drops out for sure, and a static atmosphere takes over.

From this static, an electronic set of pitches come out. This new and final section is what completes this dark and eerie piece. The album slowly fades out, leaving a lot of questions the listener may have unanswered, but it leaves you also with an experience with music that most other artists can't compare to emotionally.

The only possible set backs of this album is that it is more-so the atmospheres, not the music, creating the pain and emotion. This is no problem for me, in fact, I take it in and love it's dark beauty. One thing to understand is that this album will have different effects on different people. For some, they will just question why somebody would make a recording like this, and for others, they will soak up the music as I did, and truly feel the pain expressed by this simple, yet very complicated piece of art.

So in the end, I guess I can only say this - get this album if you really wish to seek the emotions expressed in it - don't get it for entertainment value, for the only entertainment here is in your emotions. Loss is dark, maybe even pessimistic, and is not for everyone, but for those who listen to it as I do, they will agree with me 100% that this album is deeply moving and beautiful.

EDITED ON 3/3/08

Change: Rating (5 Star to 4 Star)

Reasoning: After much consideration, I have decided that giving this album a 5 Star rating would be slightly unfair. I fully stand by all I said in my review, but based upon the criteria for ratings, I must admit that this album is not an essential part of a Progressive Music collection. It still is a deeply moving album to me, and one of my personal favorites, but I feel as though Bass Communion has also released works of similar if not better quality.

asimplemistake | 4/5 |


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