Squaremeter - Heliogabal
Dark Ambient Listening to this album is like falling endlessly down a cavern which does not end, there are myriad layers of darkness piled on top of strange digital errors and artifacts. I've been and continue to be a huge Squaremeter fan, however, after the initial thrill of new material wore off, I could see this record what it is. "Heliogabal" is impenetrably black and that's about it. You get some curiously demented machinery misfiring throughout this thing and there are some melodies to be found but by and large, it's just drifting ambiance without any particular destination. There are no edges to find with this one and it would be like drowning in opals just for the sake of something different. I'm ambivalent towards "Heliogabal" as it simply takes what was done on the previous lights out exercise of "Nyx" and then heaps on the despair. Track by track it's a wonderful record but when heard in total context, it is simply just too much of the same for well over an hour.

Perhaps this is meant to be a second installment, I'll have to play them back to back... oh wait, I already have. Still not coming away from this one with much of anything except a disconcerting sense that this particular abyss has been thoroughly explored and doesn't warrant any further investigation. I have no regrets about owning "Heliogabal" but after playing it so many times over the last few months, it is obviously time to set it down. I adore music with atmospheres but when all it is comprised of are long-form exercises in overcast electronics and ever deepening inky, burnt out depression I'm going to have to draw the line. To listen to this thing as many times as I have imparts an almost hermetic seal to your dwelling and utterly alienates you from the rest of the world.

If extremely dour work with a twilight mechanized feel to it is your thing and you've not heard this act before, check it out. Otherwise, put it back on the shelf and let it age. Many of my favorite records have fallen precisely into this category, I just never figured Squaremeter would put something out which took so long to grow on me. Fans of his "Aswad" album have already checked out and this one isn't likely to bring them back, guess he's becoming more based on drone and less on actual song structure. This is a fine idea but "Heliogabal" is clearly a stepping stone on the way to something much more grand.
3
Brutal Resonance

Squaremeter - Heliogabal

5.0
"Mediocre"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2010 by Ant-Zen
Listening to this album is like falling endlessly down a cavern which does not end, there are myriad layers of darkness piled on top of strange digital errors and artifacts. I've been and continue to be a huge Squaremeter fan, however, after the initial thrill of new material wore off, I could see this record what it is. "Heliogabal" is impenetrably black and that's about it. You get some curiously demented machinery misfiring throughout this thing and there are some melodies to be found but by and large, it's just drifting ambiance without any particular destination. There are no edges to find with this one and it would be like drowning in opals just for the sake of something different. I'm ambivalent towards "Heliogabal" as it simply takes what was done on the previous lights out exercise of "Nyx" and then heaps on the despair. Track by track it's a wonderful record but when heard in total context, it is simply just too much of the same for well over an hour.

Perhaps this is meant to be a second installment, I'll have to play them back to back... oh wait, I already have. Still not coming away from this one with much of anything except a disconcerting sense that this particular abyss has been thoroughly explored and doesn't warrant any further investigation. I have no regrets about owning "Heliogabal" but after playing it so many times over the last few months, it is obviously time to set it down. I adore music with atmospheres but when all it is comprised of are long-form exercises in overcast electronics and ever deepening inky, burnt out depression I'm going to have to draw the line. To listen to this thing as many times as I have imparts an almost hermetic seal to your dwelling and utterly alienates you from the rest of the world.

If extremely dour work with a twilight mechanized feel to it is your thing and you've not heard this act before, check it out. Otherwise, put it back on the shelf and let it age. Many of my favorite records have fallen precisely into this category, I just never figured Squaremeter would put something out which took so long to grow on me. Fans of his "Aswad" album have already checked out and this one isn't likely to bring them back, guess he's becoming more based on drone and less on actual song structure. This is a fine idea but "Heliogabal" is clearly a stepping stone on the way to something much more grand.
Mar 14 2011

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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