Servovalve - Necromasse
Experimental, IDM I find it hard to review an album when from a technical standpoint the producers are immaculate in crafting wicked sounds and electronic rhythms but tend to loop and repeat the same sounds for six minutes on end. That is how I feel with Servovalve's latest album Necromasse, which is their third album. Their last album was released back in 2009 as a CD/DVD package and - aside from a digital re-release of 2001's N-Gone, Servovalve has kept quiet. However, after a comeback to the stage in Paris last summer, Servovalve has built some hype around Necromasse, which is equally stunning and bland at the same time. Those are two adjectives I've never really thought I'd be able to use in the same sentence, but here I am doing that today. 

Anyway, I immediately came to that conclusion upon listening to the first song on Necromasse titled 'Tridim'. There's a looping, rhythmic backdrop that maintains its pace and structure throughout the entirety of the song aside from a bit of a break from around the four minute and twenty five second mark to the five minute mark. After that break, the same rhythm comes back, but it more or less has a bit of a pitch difference and that's it. I'll admit that some of the ambiance and drone work surrounding the song was interesting, but I found myself rather uninterested in the track anywhere past the two minute mark. 'Tridim' entered in with grasping and ebbing electronic beats, but slowly lost me as almost nothing changed about it. 

I did like how the songs transitioned right from one to the next without pause, and the intro of 'Macrosense' had a very well placed sample. This song entered right into slowly paced rhythmic noise territory, with each pulse of noise having a heavy dose of bass behind it. To me, the song sounded like it utilized hospital machinery - like a life support machine - to get a lot of its tunes. Again, I loved the beat, I loved the sound of it, but I just couldn't remain enraptured in it all the way to the end. 

'Ghubar' had a drone structure at its core, with a very sci-fi horror like appeal running through it. The drone sounds, however, are very standard for the genre; it is the noises that surround them (samples, bird chirping, etc.) that bring them to life. But, yet again, a looping rhythm took control for most of the song with some attached IDM elements. The rest of the track was unsurprising and otherwise boring. 

Now, I don't want to make a review short or cut it off, as I hate doing that, but I feel as if what I have to say about the rest of the tracks on the album is fairly similar to what I've been saying about the previous three. There are a lot of awesome moments on Necromasse, but they are just forgotten about as repetitious beats and the like are played out over and over. I can understand a minimalist approach, but I hate it when songs tend to loop over and over without attempting to change the pace. 

Every once in a while that happens on Necromasse, but those segments are short lived and in tracks that average seven minutes in length it just isn't enough. Another problem I have with Necromasse is the song structure which is exremely easy to catch onto after the first three track. There's usually an ambient build up with some samples or other noises, the rhythmic beat that ensues throughout the song, and then an outro that matches the intro ambiance/drone work. 

I do not want to put down Servovalve's work all that much, however, as they are very skilled producers. Their talent is noted, and the clarity in which Necromasse is presented is fantastic. They know how to lure people into their songs, but I'm finding trouble staying for the whole ride. This is like a road trip that seemed like a good idea, but you come back from it saying, "That could have been much better." 

What would have made this album much better is if Servovalve made the songs less predictable and less loopy. A slower paced experimental album needs to be able to change up its rhythms every couple of minutes or so, not maintain a similar rhythm for an entire song. Alas, that did not happen with Necromasse. I appreciate the effort, and I do mark down Necromasse as being well produced, the execution was just mediocre rather than living to full potential. 
3
Brutal Resonance

Servovalve - Necromasse

6.0
"Alright"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2016 by M-tronic Label
I find it hard to review an album when from a technical standpoint the producers are immaculate in crafting wicked sounds and electronic rhythms but tend to loop and repeat the same sounds for six minutes on end. That is how I feel with Servovalve's latest album Necromasse, which is their third album. Their last album was released back in 2009 as a CD/DVD package and - aside from a digital re-release of 2001's N-Gone, Servovalve has kept quiet. However, after a comeback to the stage in Paris last summer, Servovalve has built some hype around Necromasse, which is equally stunning and bland at the same time. Those are two adjectives I've never really thought I'd be able to use in the same sentence, but here I am doing that today. 

Anyway, I immediately came to that conclusion upon listening to the first song on Necromasse titled 'Tridim'. There's a looping, rhythmic backdrop that maintains its pace and structure throughout the entirety of the song aside from a bit of a break from around the four minute and twenty five second mark to the five minute mark. After that break, the same rhythm comes back, but it more or less has a bit of a pitch difference and that's it. I'll admit that some of the ambiance and drone work surrounding the song was interesting, but I found myself rather uninterested in the track anywhere past the two minute mark. 'Tridim' entered in with grasping and ebbing electronic beats, but slowly lost me as almost nothing changed about it. 

I did like how the songs transitioned right from one to the next without pause, and the intro of 'Macrosense' had a very well placed sample. This song entered right into slowly paced rhythmic noise territory, with each pulse of noise having a heavy dose of bass behind it. To me, the song sounded like it utilized hospital machinery - like a life support machine - to get a lot of its tunes. Again, I loved the beat, I loved the sound of it, but I just couldn't remain enraptured in it all the way to the end. 

'Ghubar' had a drone structure at its core, with a very sci-fi horror like appeal running through it. The drone sounds, however, are very standard for the genre; it is the noises that surround them (samples, bird chirping, etc.) that bring them to life. But, yet again, a looping rhythm took control for most of the song with some attached IDM elements. The rest of the track was unsurprising and otherwise boring. 

Now, I don't want to make a review short or cut it off, as I hate doing that, but I feel as if what I have to say about the rest of the tracks on the album is fairly similar to what I've been saying about the previous three. There are a lot of awesome moments on Necromasse, but they are just forgotten about as repetitious beats and the like are played out over and over. I can understand a minimalist approach, but I hate it when songs tend to loop over and over without attempting to change the pace. 

Every once in a while that happens on Necromasse, but those segments are short lived and in tracks that average seven minutes in length it just isn't enough. Another problem I have with Necromasse is the song structure which is exremely easy to catch onto after the first three track. There's usually an ambient build up with some samples or other noises, the rhythmic beat that ensues throughout the song, and then an outro that matches the intro ambiance/drone work. 

I do not want to put down Servovalve's work all that much, however, as they are very skilled producers. Their talent is noted, and the clarity in which Necromasse is presented is fantastic. They know how to lure people into their songs, but I'm finding trouble staying for the whole ride. This is like a road trip that seemed like a good idea, but you come back from it saying, "That could have been much better." 

What would have made this album much better is if Servovalve made the songs less predictable and less loopy. A slower paced experimental album needs to be able to change up its rhythms every couple of minutes or so, not maintain a similar rhythm for an entire song. Alas, that did not happen with Necromasse. I appreciate the effort, and I do mark down Necromasse as being well produced, the execution was just mediocre rather than living to full potential. 
Mar 02 2016

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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