Nine Point Circuit

Written by: ASH on 24/09/2007 17:13:31

They're dark, the visions you had when you lied in a hospital bed in a comatose after the accident you outlived just hours ago. The only things you can barely visualize are strange, eerie energies of sound that surround you. They are all titled "At The End" and you feel that this is the beginning of your new life; you have to wake up and redefine yourself. These sound energies, consisting of some heavy and commanding drums, some powerful riffs from a guitar in the vicinity, and the rhythmic bass, lead you to the source of the energy; the vocals of Jens Christiansen. After telling you about his band's Danish roots and that you will be the first soul to hear their first album during this journey, he shows you the way to your awakening; but it is at a cost, you can only awaken by becoming a soul, wandering for a body, a soul and an identity. The sounds around you intensify as your frustration peaks, but you accept your destiny and depart from your physical body. It's like a new dream, these hospital corridors, which are all strangely going nowhere. Looking behind you, you witness from the sign that you have entered "The Labyrinth" and that the atmospheric music is following you, guiding you to the exit. Everything is confusing in the beginning; the distorted guitar keeps on empathizing your wrong turns with its repetitive, but matching sound riffs and the drums still keep on bashing while Mr. Christiansen roars his powerful and dreamy voice through the endless floors.

Suddenly, a long straightforward corridor appears in front of you and you see light, an exit! The band around you ensures you that this is the right way out by playing silently, highlighting the cymbal works of Jakob Neumann and the bass-lines of Rene Johansen in an almost perfect symbiosis. But this tranquility does not last forever, and Nicolai Hansen's guitar jumps back into its distortions, Jens Christiansen builds up an atmosphere of struggle through the use of his grainy and powerful voice and some back-up screams. Something is holding you back, but you scream with the vocalist: "Set me free!" and the labyrinth forms its exit behind you and you appear in a long corridor of rooms in front of you, each with their own name and sound.

The door into "Porte Principiale" fills you with more gritty guitar riffs and some absent voice saying "Why...?", but because of the lack of originality and the confusing amateurish vocal slash guitar mash-up, you quickly rush to the next room; the room of "The Forge", a room almost completely the same as the last one. The repetitive sound compositions and the all-engulfing noises slowly make you feel the insanity, and hope for the next room to be your temporary salvation. "Metamorphose", finally, a room with more balance in each of the instruments playing out all of these rooms, makes you feel energetic and inspired to go even further. As you open the next door you stand in "The Passage" with the "Cathedral" lurking in the horizon. Running towards it, a multitude of chanting choruses accompany you until the vocalist from before emerges from the background and sings in a mix of chants and clean singing, leading you closer to your objective with the generic sound of psychedelic drum eats bass eats guitar-ish blend.

As you stand at the entrance of the cathedral, you suddenly find yourself confused about whether the band is your guiding light or just another enemy trying to degenerate your journey to something worthless. Luckily, the cathedral is filled with tranquil guitar picking in the beginning, which echoes in the giant sanctuary. Shortly after, the tranquility is blown away by powerful riffs and some interesting drumming that keeps you going towards the altar. Sadly, you're thinking about abandoning your quest because of the occasional chants from the vocalist and a very unstable composition of rhythm before the song fades out as you lay yourself down on the altar, waiting for a miracle that will make you wake up. The noise gradually gets replaced by musical synchronization of divine synthesizing and the sound of your heartbeat. You close your eyes and see the text "Synaesthetic Lullaby" fade in from the darkness surrounding you again.

Undecipherable whispers from the band's members draw you into a new world of some cosmic guitar plucking followed by some more of the noisy distortion. But finally it matches the song and you feel rejuvenated enough to actually hear the mystical lyrics which just make sing along and hope for your awakening. Sadly, you have been tricked! As your mind reads "Engine of Tranquility", you feel the same repetitiveness again and suddenly you realize that there is no such thing as a second chance. Your awakening has failed and you will have to live as a ghost in despair forever until the band comes again to lead you further. Trapped in your mind again, you end the song with a scream only heard by yourself and the rapidly entombing darkness around your soul.

In the final seconds your adventure flashes before your eyes; the amazing idea of Pinchbeck who created your failed second chance through their noisy, but also elegant music and intelligent lyrics, even though they became repetitive and a little unsupportable throughout this conceptual journey. Not to mention the disappointing unoriginality of the final song even though it masterfully closed the whole psychmetal cycle... for now. It is time, numbers appear before you and you reach out, pulling in a

as the darkness engulfs your completely.

For the fans of: Tool, Isis, Alice in Chains

Download: Cathedral, At the End
Listen: MySpace

Release date 20.09.2007

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