Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lustmord - The Word as Power (2013)
I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but Lustmord is my all-time favorite ambient artists along with Steve Roach. Lustmord's ability to create haunting, unfathomably dark soundscapes is unparalleled. Therefore, my anticipation level for this album was quite high and after having heard it, I can say it's a solid release but not exactly what I was hoping for. Lustmord experiments here with vocals to a much greater degree than he's done in the past making for something like a darker, wordless version of Dead Can Dance. I think the vocals work wonderfully in many parts, especially on the standout tracks "Babel" and "Abbadon." But even on those tracks I think he could have toned down the vocals a bit and added more instrumental variety. As for the rest of the tracks: they're all good but they seem to lack the factors that make them really stand out. And usually with ambient albums, the kinds of factors I'm talking about are small things you barely perceive in the background that give the music some character (i.e. the barely audible synth notes on "Abbadon.") Will this album stand up to such masterpieces as "Where the Black Stars Hang," "Zoetrope," or the incredibly varied "Metavoid"? I think not. Is it a grower? I suspect so. It may not be amongst his top-tier works, but The Word as Power is still a beautiful piece of art and a highly unique addition both to Lustmord's discography and to the ambient genre as a whole.

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