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Predella Avant – Carbon Figures

Predella Avant - Carbon Figures

CD, Ars Musica Diffundere, 2004

This is Predella Avant’s second release on the Black Rain side-label Ars Musica Diffundere and like its predecessor it deals entirely in martial/neo-classical fare. There are no obvious reference points when starting this review as cover art is kept to a minimum and there are not even any song titles to help with the atmosphere, it would seem that this Dutch act are keen to let the music do the talking for them.
Heavy militaristic beats underpin synths awash with foreboding, while static rumbles away in the background and traditional instruments add a human edge to the post apocalyptic orchestral score. It is a completely instrumental album and the only “voices” on offer are those sampled from other sources or distant screams and cries.
The lack of any imagery means it is easy for the listener to have no preconceived notions as to what the music on offer may pertain to, which seems a smart move as this genre of music can so frequently alienate potential listeners with clich├ęd themes. Releases like this can often suffer from a rather poor-faced seriousness or just by trying too damn hard to be “scary”. Thankfully neither of which applies to this release.
Eleven tracks clock in at around forty minutes which is perfect for a release of this nature, seventy minutes of musical nihilism may well have been a bit too much to ask from all but the most fervent of listeners. To quote the mighty Coil, this is truly “music to play in the dark”. Recommended.


— Michael Hinchliffe

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