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Gravetemple | ‘Impassable Fears’


Another year. Another O’Malley/ Csihar record.

Do we really need another one? Especially when we can hazard a guess as to how it will sound?

Both characters seemingly realize this, and will spin it in such a way that it sounds like a genuine one off, in the moment session that cannot be repeated.

Indeed, Attila is quoted in the press pack as saying that “The aim is to break boundaries and to find new horizons via the challenging of our own concepts of existence via the channels of musical trance….it is like a contemporary way of Shamanism.

The Shaman in our ancient Hungarian tradition is a person who can see both the material and spiritual worlds and himself or herself is the bridge or the channel between.

The connection to our deepest inner self is very primal and in a way sometimes infantile…It’s about accepting whatever that each moment brings… we are seeking trance while playing and recording music together. Almost like a spiritual experience.”

All very worthy and notable, but is the record any good? Read on.

Weighty Mood?

Firstly I have to state the obvious: the cover is beautiful. Reminiscent of the works of Hieronymus Bosch, it (seemingly) tells of the inner battles that some of us fight on a daily basis.

I love how the eye (?) is divided between heaven, the living and hell. It could be on a Dead Can Dance album.

And that’s really the only thing about this album that’s worth commending.

Having played it five times while attempting to write a review, I find my mind wandering off. This type of music is the sort that should have your full, undivided attention.

It’s not horrible by any stretch of the imagination. Tracks like ‘A Szarka’ have a weighty mood that should take the listener on a journey, but instead feels like listening to thunder and lightening in a council flat.

Simply put, you’ve heard it done a million times by the same people.

I imagine if it came out under the Sunn O))) banner, certain people would be hailing it as album of the year. But as it isn’t, we must judge it on it’s own merits.

I’m sure O’Malley and Csihar really enjoy collaborating, but there is no need to keep releasing every single one as an album. Is this an attempt at Coil style gouging of fans who’ll buy anything associated with Sunn O)))? Or do the two of them simply have no quality control?

1 / 5 ::: Christopher Owens ::: 11/06/17



9 Comments
  1. More pretentious wank

  2. John Kimble Says:

    Mr. Owens comes in for a lot of stick regarding his reviews, and I generally tend towards the “dry your eyes, it’s only an opinion” point of view, but holy fuck, that is a seriously poor read. Like one paragraph about the actual music?!

  3. Two over-rated pretentious wankers on the one album, surley a train crash from the off.

  4. latrine animal Says:

    This band is a trio with Oren Ambarchi in it as well no?
    To be honest it doesn’t sound exactly what I’d expect by O’Malley and Csihar nor does it sound interchangeable with Sunn. If anything it sounds a little like a darker version of some of Ambarchi’s more sample based/collagey stuff.
    I’ve not been massively interested in these folks’ stuff for a long time so I don’t really feel like defending something I’m not going to return to and have just given a very brief listen out of curiosity but just from that cursory listen the point this review is trying to make seems like a lazy assumption made a priori.

  5. I honestly doubt if it is a cynical attempt to gouge people also the comparison to Coil is off it is closer to something like Merzbrow or Zev for instance. I have the impression the review is even somewhat reluctantly made since the style might not be there preferred brew so to speak.

  6. In fairness i dont think something has to be “your type of brew” so to speak to critisice it for being overbearingly shit.

  7. I don’t have any problem with the review at all but there are still frames of reference within music.

  8. doomschmoker Says:

    boring experimental drone ‘artists’ in making another shite album shocker! who’d a thunk it?

  9. I dunno. I’m a big fan of Sunn and prior to that I always appreciated the heavier, slower side of metal. O’Malley is a bit like Mike Patton in that he’s always working on several projects simultaneously. It doesn’t mean that everything he touches is gold but at least he’s trying to approach creating music from a different perspective. Some listeners may think it all sounds the same, but its just not for them… My missus thinks all metal sounds the same.

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