It’s strange how some people meet. Dustin O’Halloran (who we have reviewed) and Adam Wiltzie met a few years ago backstage in a Sparklehorse gig (missing Mr. Linkous). Whatever makes things happen in this world geared this chance meeting into a collaboration that blurs the lines between Ambient, Classical and Post-Rock.
A red carpet is laid for your listening pleasure. You are the star in the gala of sounds that this duo offer to you. ‘We played some open chords’ is a pretty nice way to open the album, with a clear, resolute piano that sometimes invites a synth to open its arms and soar gently over us. ‘Minuet for a cheap piano’ follows this line of thought, but whereas ‘We played some open chords’ sounds hopeful, ‘Minuet’ is much more stark; a contrast between the flowery, sun-drenched Spring and the windy, bitter cold Autumn.
Solemnity is the name of the game for both parts of ‘Requiem for the Static King’. Part 1 goes for strings, a quick introduction to what we are about to witness in Part 2, which is a simply gorgeous landscape of thick atmospheric sounds and a lot of sadness permeating through the now rarified airs emanating from the A Winged Victory for the sullen’s factory of sounds.
‘Step hills of Vicodin tears’ is another beautiful number. Violins drench through the speakers, feelings fly everywhere. Some of these feelings remain in the air, but are quite downbeat. They linger for long times, never touching ground again, but, then again, never fully soaring into the sky. It’s this sadness what surrounds you in the masterpiece that is ‘A symphony pathetique’. The 12 minute run just flows and flows, never actually dragging, always keeping you enthralled until the trance dissipates with the slow fade out the track uses.
‘All farewells are sudden’. The title speaks so right, that’s how they are in this life, whether a temporal one or the more permanent type of goodbye, it’s always a bit of a shock. It is sad and a bit morose, but it’s very heartfelt and democratic. For a few moments, the electronic sounds dominate. In others, it’s the piano’s time to shine in the spotlight. Like duelling banjos of emotional, the back and forth relishes on a slow pace to pull your heartstrings a bit.
Not a dry eye in the house. Take a bow, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, you’ve made a beautiful piece of art.
PS: Do check Dustin O’Halloran ‘s own stuff if you enjoy the lovely piano. If the droning, rich atmospheres are more up your alley, you can’t go wrong with Adam Wiltzie‘s Stars of the Lid.