Desolate Angels is the eagerly awaited sophomore release from Soundscapism Inc., a highly anticipated successor to a debut which made a potent and well-received impact on the European post rock scene. The new offering is sure to emulate, indeed surpass the success of its predecessor with its even more accomplished, imaginative, and warmly haunting adventure.
Soundscapism Inc. is the solo project of Berlin based musician Bruno A., the founder of Portuguese/ Finnish bred band Vertigo Steps. When that band went on an unspecified ‘hiatus’, Bruno began bringing his own creative exploration to light with the release of the self-titled Soundscapism Inc. EP late 2015 quickly enticing ears and praise with its cinematic ambience, post rock climates, and acoustic beauty. It was more of an album with its nine captivating tracks and the base for the even more creatively expressive and magnetic Desolate Angels. The new evolution and craft in the project’s tapestry of sound and character was hinted at by a couple of tracks released from it towards the end of year but now in its full glory, it is a compelling proposal expanding well beyond their promise.
Swiftly as immersive and cinematically suggestive as the first release, Desolate Angels immediately caresses ears with Evening Lights. A guitar melody wraps its tender arms around ears first, additional lures warmly and firmly whispering before the track settles into an even mellower atmospheric landscape. Guest vocals from Flávio Silva subsequently emerge to add their captivating croon as Bruno’s guitar and keys weave a portrait of poetic post rock and ambient beauty. It is melancholy with a tempering charm and alluring tinges of harsher rock ‘n’ roll and quite bewitching.
The potent tones of Silva also feature on the following Supernovas At Fever Pitch, the song from another reserved opening firmly blossoming in sound and texture before his appearance, thoughtful melodies and an elegantly solemn yet again enticing air greeting him. From its initial simmer, an increasingly infectious energy and enterprise brews with a touch of Maybeshewill to it, this awakening bringing thicker wiry grooves and richer but restrained intensity to further ignite the track’s evocative heart. As the first track, it lures the imagination with ease, almost preys on it before The Mourning After pt II coaxes the listener into its relatively brief emotionally rousing instrumental waltz, subsequently leaving on a wash of melodic reflection.
Zwischenspiel I similarly draw ears into a melody persuasive romancing of thoughts and senses, its intimate seduction the echo of broader but also solitary pastures; an emotional closeness also found within the album’s title track where innocence feels shadowed by darker lurking trespasses. Touching the outskirts of ten minutes in length, Desolate Angels provides a flight of contrasting drama; dark and light toying with the imagination as Bruno conjures a soundscape of raw and equally radiant sound and suggestion which tempts like a fusion of Sigur Rós and 65daysofstatic at times, his vocals an euphonious caress.
Through the inescapably infectious and constantly shifting stroll of Man In The Glass and the calm crystalline smoulder of Zwischenspiel II the individual presence and sound of Soundscapism Inc. is cemented, any hint offered by references to others like God Is An Astronaut for the second of this pair, just clues to something fresh and provocative.
The appetite pleasing voice of Silva makes its final appearance within next up February North, his voice a great mix of grainy and melodious temptation wrapped in the acoustic ethereal grace of Bruno’s touch and craft, essences just as refined and persuasive in the evocation spun by next up Quintessence around a narrative of vocal samples.
The album simply continues to bewitch and entice, firstly through the livelier exploits of Low-Fi Man, Hi-Tech World, the song a melody woven aural film with its rhythmic tenacity like the flickering roll of cinematic stills combining for a mesmeric visual incitement. Its striking presence is followed by the instrumental grace of Zwischenspiel III, it also a piece again with emotive shadows, and a short reprise of the title track before the increasingly beguiling Sleep Arrives Under Your Wings adds a surf rock glisten to its celestial beauty and resonance. The track is manna for ears and imagination, quickly followed by emotions and makes a magnificent close to the release though the evocative kiss of bonus track Above Us Only Sky provides the actual final moments of the album’s digital version.
There is plenty to take in aurally and emotionally within the hour of Desolate Angels, more than arguably can be assessed and appreciated in one go though perseverance in that vein only brings thick rewards. Each track works just as potently alone or in small clusters too so whichever way you approach it real pleasure and fulfilment is the result. Bruno and Soundscapism Inc. have stepped upon a new plateau with Desolate Angels with easy to suspect even bigger inventive and striking ventures to come from him.
Desolate Angels is available through Ethereal Sound Works now @ https://soundscapisminc.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 05/03/2017
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