mebitek - Sraka
This review was commissioned through Ko-fi. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
Cinematic and ambient electronic producer mebitek has explained that his latest album, “Sraka”, defines what it means to take your last breath before passing; that it is the “gathering of physical, cerebral, and spiritual activities that precede the last great journey.” For all intents and purposes I found myself believing Sraka to be a bit of a limbo; mebitek continues to explain that Sraka is neither heaven nor hell, but rather an ethereal realm where those that aren’t dead can lie eternal. To flesh out this concept, of course, mebitek has turned to his musical palette to further describe what is Sraka. While the concept is interesting, the execution leaves me with a flawed album. “Sraka” ultimately doesn’t know what it wants to be, with several messy songs jamming in too many elements for their own good, and other bland tracks that can’t stand out.
The album begins off with ‘To The Gates Of Sorrow’. For the first two-minutes “Sraka” is a very contemplative song; drab piano work with sad keys is decorate with background ambiance. Around the two-minute mark, the song goes quiet for a split moment before mebitek unceremoniously drops a plate of electronics onto us. Not necessarily glitch filled, but drawing influences from the genre with deep, heavy percussion. Overall, it ticks the cinematic box but it wasn’t necessarily as moving as it could have been.
‘The Altair’ is an odd song that I couldn’t get into despite how many times I listened to it. It’s one of those classic moments where there is a lot going on, but each instrument or beat feels like it’s doing its own thing rather than trying to make a cohesive rhythm. The wobbling synths don’t fit; the percussion just doesn’t flow; and the orchestral elements in the background only add to the confusion.
There’s not much interesting to say about ‘The Haunting’. It falls under dark ambient music, but it’s one of those songs where if you’ve heard one, you’ve heard them all. When mebitek adds in a minimal amount of percussion, strings, and piano later in the song, it doesn’t help to overcome the otherwise generic nature of the track.
‘The Day The Angels Fell’ has a charming appeal in a sense with the wind-chime like nature of it. The light screeching synths in the background, however, tell a different story – an ominous one at that. It’s an interesting introduction but as the song goes on, I have similar feelings as I did with ‘The Altair’. There’s a lot going on from deep percussion, more orchestral elements, and some static background noise. But it’s not a puzzle that fits rightly together and I scrubbed my head trying to make out what mebitek was aiming for.
A guest vocalist named Mariana Millapan makes an appearance on the album, and she does a pretty good job. Her voiceover on ‘Wolves’ is filled with emotion and a good sense of storytelling. I do wish that mebitek would have turned down his music a notch as I believe her vocals get drowned out a bit – which is a shame.
Much of my previous sentiments remain the same for much of the album which is that either mebitek couldn’t quite fit all his elements together properly, or that the ones going the ambient route didn’t have enough meat, or texture, to warrant more listens than necessary to complete this review.
A general complaint I have about the album is that the mixing can feel a bit off in the sense that some sounds are way too obnoxious or loud. For example, on ‘The Altair’, every so often a raw drum beat clangs and clangs harshly. When it does, it overpowers the song and takes me out of the momentum – like a hard reset. If it were more balanced, I would have appreciated the song a bit more. There are a million other examples of this on the album, but it’s not something I wish to drivel on about for an eternity.
If there were any advice I could give to mebitek, it would be to first gather resources to hire a professional audio engineer to mix and master the album. As stated above, there’s a couple of spikes throughout the album that could have easily been fixed with another set of ears. I also believe that mebitek is trying to do to much in his songs, which leads to tracks such as ‘The Altair’ and ‘The Day The Angels Fell’ not sounding as commanding or put together as they should. The best way I can describe “Sraka” is as a sloppy experience, and one that’s held together by not the toughest glue. It’s not the worst album I’ve ever listened to, but it’s not one that I’ll be coming back to. It’s generally “meh”, and for that I give it a five out of ten.Jul 11 2022
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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