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Niko Skorpio – Half Born In Half Light

Niko Skorpio - Half Born In Half Light

CD, Some Place Else, 2008

I approached this with my head in my hands and, if truth be told, I expected the worst. Any press report that highlights the foundations as psychedelic and even dare tag it with a newly created, non-existent genre (“Hermetic Fusion Musick”) is likely to have me spitting on the disc before we even start. It reeks of Psychic TV in its description, and I never did get all that wanking into envelopes and posting it off, like those sycophantic fans of that ilk got up to, and don’t want to know either.
It starts off tragically, really badly in fact. “{Monogram}” is truly atrocious; imagine some over-stoned treacle dripping ambient that pointlessly meanders on, and you are nowhere near close enough to just how turgid this is. This is pure ritual music, granted it’s pretty bloody dark all in all, and does have its moments. But there is just too much of the ‘trying to be scary’ about it all, and in reality it’s about as threatening as an ageing poodle that has lost its teeth.
Don’t get me wrong, there are certain stages of this CD where a genuine atmosphere is created, giving space to the drones and atmospherics, carried by the reverberation of the odd tribal beat followed by simply crushing guitar sounds. When it’s done well it’s fantastic, but that is simply too few and far between for my liking. This of course is a huge shame because it doesn’t take a genius to work out that a massive amount of effort has gone into this release, especially on the excellent ambient backdrops, of which I think this should have solely consisted (“Leper Angel” being a highlight).
If you are a fan of such acts as Z’ev and so forth you will probably cream your pants over this – I, to be frank, always thought he was utterly rubbish and a waste of oxygen, so this really didn’t do anything of any value for me personally in the long haul. Nice artwork, though, and given that this has that trance-like quality all ritual fans will love, this too should be scored taking in account merits they bathe in. It has its moments.


— Tony Young

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