mercredi 20 avril 2016

STRATOSPHERE: Rise (2016)

“Rise follows the paths of Aftermath but with a little more movements in some ambient beats delicioulsy created by lazy fingers on a bass”
1 Melancholy 9:25
2 Dream 8:13
3 Hypnotic 8:48
4 Enmity 8:43
5 Desolation 8:20
6 Duality 8:27
7 Explore 8:06
Projekt | PROJEKT329 (CD/DDL 60:05) ***½
(Dark ambient with guitar drones and effects)

A long humming come by far drops a translucent line which meditates on the atmospheres of "Melancholy". The snores of the bass become a shape of ambient rhythm, a walking for damned, where roam and cry a six-strings which sculpt the same soundscapes of opaque and intrusive ambient music. A guitar which scatters a kind of spectral melody which is as much heavy as the sorrows of my adolescence. According to the curves of a music built on the multi layers of drones to the colors of a rainbow shinning under a sky of fire, “Rise” is no more and no less the answer of Stratosphere to its previous album Aftermath. Even if everything is always so heavy, we feel that the Belgian guitarist Ronald Mariën lives some happier moments. Happier because the music breathes by fascinating and captivating ghost melodies which rage and play the trouble-makers on a perpetual thick cloud of drones with the outlines radiating of contrasting luminosity. There are lots of shrill colors on this album which glitter between our ears. First of all, “Rise” beats by the delicate measures of a line of rather elastic bass. One would say a fusion between Dirk Serries, who mastered the album, and Stratosphere.
Like in "
Dream" where the lazy fingers of Stratosphere congeal a floating rhythm where are caressing the superimposed harmonies of an electric six-strings and the delicate riffs of an acoustic guitar. Here as everywhere in “Rise”, a heap of lines in the clear-dark colors wrap this melody which flows actually as a dream. Dramatic effects are inserted here and there, giving a more penetrating dimension to the track. I quite enjoyed this track! "Duality" is in the same style but with more colors in the tones. "Hypnotic" is the darkest track of “Rise”. The drones here are more compact and smother this melody which tears its guts in the razor blades of the drones. Chthonian and disturbing! All the opposite of "Enmity" where sleeps a very nice melody, we found it after 2 or 3 listening, on sibylline layers which float as the caresses of a hand on our soul. The bass structures an envelope of ambient beat of which the progression adopts the curve of the guitar layers in a duel between darkness and luminosity. It's also a track which disturbs, but not for the same reasons as "Hypnotic". It's very good. What fascinates in “Rise” is this constant presence of structures of rhythms as heavy as an ascent of a mountain with a backpack loaded with rocks. That transcends the structures of usual ambient soundscapes. As in "Desolation" where the bass feeds the wrath of a raging guitar, but always ambient, under this sonic sky which is covered of translucent drones. A title a little less difficult than "Hypnotic" but which stays in the same vein. "Explore" ends this 3rd opus of Stratosphere with a wall of lines and of very compact reverberations which leave little space, and luck, to this kind of ghostly melody of which the breezes whistle without really reaching a point of explosion.
Roughly, “
Rise” follows the traces of Aftermath but with a little more movements in the panoramas of reverberations and multi layers of guitars dressed with the tones and the colors of synthesizer. It's always a music of heavy and dark ambiences where breathe a life of harmonies chiseled in the shadows of the ghosts.

Sylvain Lupari (April 20th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Projekt web shop here

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