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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Totem> Solar Forge (ESP, 2008) ****

Reconsider the guitar trio... Forget about the sound of a guitar, the sound of a bass, the sound of a drumkit. Think about the definition of music as "organised sound", and be open to something new. It sounds industrial, it sounds painful, it sounds direct, like the musicans are playing directly on your naked braincells, tweaking your nervous system, twisting synapses, pulling on neurons, and bending your expectations, distorting your preconceptions. Bruce Eisenbeil uses a guitar, Tom Blancarte makes sounds on his bass and Andrew Drury on a drumkit. Ever read a novel by Chuck Palahniuk? This would be the musical equivalent of his novels. Modern, in a language that is partly recognizable but which is brutal in its refined assault on your sensitivity. In a way you want to escape, away from the noise and the uncompromising attacks, on the other hand, the music is too interesting and you want to know what comes next, there is a kind of attraction that sucks you into the music. It's not pleasant to hear, but then again it's fun to listen to. The music is deeply emotional, but not always the emotions you would like. That's a strong achievement. It's not the kind of record that you would put on for a dinner party, but then again, why not ... give it a try ...

© stef