Beings within the formless realms cannot belong to transcendence, we either negate the vessel of possessive traits or the notion of transcendence itself goes along with it. Remaining shapeless within improvised and illogical parameters, fluid in conveyance and irretrievable in memory, lends multi-national ritualistic avant-garde post-black metal project 夢遊病者 [Sleepwalker] the indistinct quality of zealots speaking in tongues and out of turn, they may not understand the heady, personal sensation of their musique concrète experience wrapped within a free-jazz and psychedelic black cinematic fusion, yet it seems that absolutely every moment is fleeting on purpose. Chasing impermanence becomes its own possession wherein the creation of ‘Noč Na Krayu Sveta‘ appears rewarding as an act within obscured, self-defined parameters — To the listener, it will more than likely read as a state of gloriously dense and dramatic madness when fully immersed.
Comprised of Russian, Japanese and American members 夢遊病者 is not “black metal” in any traditional sense. In fact, apart from a few guitar riffs and a roar or two we don’t necessarily have to consider this music “heavy metal” in any majority quantity this time around. ‘一期一会‘ (2018) was arguably the zenith of their modern marriage of psychedelic and avant-garde forms applied to an improvisational dark ambient fueled “black metal” sound, due to the jazz-friendly tonal curl of this follow-up and the equally syrupy guitar tone, I’d say post-black metal is as close as we will get. The distinction is overstated, of course, but it is important to not set the expectation of Oranssi Pazuzu and instead insist that ‘Noč Na Krayu Sveta’ offers an even less calculated mixture of intentional handicraft and seemingly improvised or impromptu performances woven in deeply considered layers, through and atop each other, which engage in occasional, seemingly unintentional harmony. There are brief moments within each of these two pieces where the performances do not appear to anticipate the greater reveal of certain movements, as if 夢遊病者 were purposefully or, necessarily segregated when sharing song ideas between their trio membership, leaving instinct and trust that all pieces would fall together in combination. “Redemption/Retaliation” uses these dissonant, often crowded sections of clashing spiritus to convey some manner of loss or turmoil beyond its equally sized but dichotomous half, “Boundless Love/Resilience”.
Chaotic and disordered as this sounds on paper or, screen, these modulations are clearly for the sake of expressionism and this freedom of movement finds some performances equally redeeming and maddening. Unpredictably flowing work yet resists too-prolific density and because of this there are some profoundly matured moments throughout, such as the trumpet that rolls into a romantic, Leone-esque noir moment that develops beyond ~8:25 minutes into “Boundless Love/Resilience” congealing with bouzouki hits and some grinding-and-easing violin work. A more eclectic cast of guests and a balance between dark and light tonal movements presents a sort of worldly touch that pushes beyond psychedelic and/or harsh music tropes towards an experience of purposeful duality. One side speaks to life-giving flow based improvisation, embracing the wonder of the unknown as much as the awe of the known. The other side drowns in its own chaos, heavily weighed down by anxietous dread. The distinction doesn’t have to be as clear as night and day, love and hate etc. but it could comfortably be taken as some manner of statement on contrast.
The more vaguely stylized, cinematic and non-referential 夢遊病者 becomes the easier it is to personalize the experience when willingly engaged. At some point, after some meaningful analysis of general forms these two pieces are best left to play as a sort of mind-altering substance, a bombardment of senses that probably shouldn’t be comprehended with any serious purpose above “feeling it”. This of course leads us into a niche that was already distinctly theirs light years ago, intimately chaotic future-scapes that set the mind outside of itself, calculating and sprawling through wild ladders of performative experimentation and mood-rich surrealism. Unique and of course not at all right for the majority of heavy music listeners, I continue to find great value in the spiritual psychotropic lure of this project. A high recommendation if you are similarly inclined, probably quite a bit lower if you are looking for a weird yet traditional take on black metal.
|TITLE:||Noč Na Krayu Sveta|
|LABEL(S):||Sentient Ruin Laboratories|
|RELEASE DATE:||April 2nd, 2021|
|BUY & LISTEN:||Bandcamp [All Formats]|
|GENRE(S):||Psychedelic Black Metal,|
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