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 Gwonam's Top 5 Albums of 2013: Installation 2

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Gwonam
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PostSubject: Gwonam's Top 5 Albums of 2013: Installation 2   Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:08 pm


The bizarre dichotomy of black metal and shoegaze music can be seen as a blessing and a curse: in its wake, it creates a thousandfold maw of bands desperately shambling tracks together to ride the wave into the next trend. As this is the undying dubstep of the metal genre currently, there's an undeniable clamoring for outlets such as Alcest's invocation of Slowdive, The Cranberries, The Smiths, and various other experimental 90's musicians whom, at the peak of their career, influenced the sonic nature of their decade. It's been 20 years since their heyday, and the nostalgia buttons are being pressed feverishly to bring about similarity and poise to a genre of music that would otherwise make no acceptance of its pensive, brooding and often heart-struck nature.

Černá may not be inherently innovating by following a paradigm of successes in this particular musical fusion, yet the album speaks volumes for its tempestuous topic of existence and is no less exploratory than Cody McCoy's predecessors. Markus Siegenhort, Fursy Teyssier and Stéphane Paut can be argued to be the progenitors of this "blackgaze" or "shoegazing black metal" conundrum, but such terms and comparisons cheapen the blow and the experience that McCoy dishes up on Restoring Life, released 28 May 2013.

Remove from your view that this has been done before and you'll hear a man playing to his strengths of melancholic, modern abstractions in a genre that normally invokes vitriol and angst to convey its point and distributes neither. McCoy chooses to never utilize his voice on the entire record as a stylistic preference, making this one of the few albums in the sub-genre forsaking any lyrical or vocal presence to exemplify the tonal inflection, thought and careful execution of the composition. There's plenty of jazzy, semi-acoustic filler to go around, yet somehow it doesn't cast the feeling of pretense.

The album is segmented into a very intelligent design of a 5 song saga directly after the dreamy shimmers and gentle bass lines of Woken in Prague, and after this collection the two singles distributed earlier in the year, Restoring Life and Isa bring the strengths of McCoy's songwriting ability to the forefront. The Společně saga spans 5 tracks: Shy Sun, Laying Down in the Rain, Night Sounds, Embrace the Stars and Lullaby. If you've ever listened to Lantlôs or Alcest's Écailles de Lune, chances are you've heard this style of music before. It's fucking wonderful. Metal has taken a much needed left turn into emotionally charged journeys of the soul, and it's revitalizing ability is matched only by McCoy's mastery of all instruments on this record.

5/5


Restoring Life will make you cling to whatever shred of hope is left in your life. It's a rainy day record. The best kind of record. Look to the left to get it.

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PostSubject: Re: Gwonam's Top 5 Albums of 2013: Installation 2   Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:19 pm

strong track. especially around 4:30. reminds me of ISIS in a way. love your posts. keep the shit rolling.
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PostSubject: Re: Gwonam's Top 5 Albums of 2013: Installation 2   Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:45 pm

That was tight. Fast paced, energetic, yet floaty. This is my go to installation so far in this saga

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PostSubject: Re: Gwonam's Top 5 Albums of 2013: Installation 2   Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:39 am

This album was truly one of the best of 2013. I've unfortunately only listened to it a few times (I actually haven't been much in the mood for this type of metal for a few months)

It's starting to be more of a frequent listen for me though, especially as the seasons change. At first I thought it felt unfinished without vocals, but now I'm loving the pure instrumental aspect. Sometimes vocals actually take away from an evocative atmosphere, in my opinion. This way, I am free to feel what I feel without harsh vocals being in conflict with a potential hopeful sounding atmosphere.

Great review Gwonam
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