|The fact that everything around me already starts to vibrate along the drones from the first few seconds of this album, tells me that this is going to be a great experience and I increase the volume of my CD-player even more...|
This is my favorite music style : ultra-heavy, very minimalistic and slow, lots of repetitions and long tracks. From the very first time I heard Hlidolf on mp3.com, this one-man band has been amongst my favorites, combining ambient, drone and funeral doom.
'Vo1d' is Hlidolf's debut and this album contains only one track, but it lasts more than 60 minutes. Not one single beat can be found in this track and absolutely no vocals...but I never had the feeling that this kind of music is actually in need of vocals and/or beats.
It all starts with amazing slow leads accompanied by very heavy drones and some long, stretched-out organ chords that last for several minutes before fading out and letting another lead fade in, occasionally accompanied by clear reverberated guitar-chords.
To get rid of this feeling, there's only one cure : play this album again and let it take you from darkness to nothingness again...Although almost 70 minutes have passed, it doesn't feel that way (maybe the immense heaviness has had its influence on time), even with the many repetitions and the minimalistic aspects of this track it never gives me a deja-vu feeling. I am under the impression that this track was written very carefully with alot of details, which are barely audible but surely add to the whole and make this track sound as one ever-changing drone-fest that manages to hold the listener's attention throughout the entire album (or in my case : through several spins of this album in a row).
Throughout the album, there is the occasional note of an organ (or least something that comes close to an organ) and it's always perfect in timing and perfectly audible above the heaviness. Same is true for the clean guitar sounds and both create a nice contrast with the distortion of the leads and drones. When it comes to sound quality and the fact that every sound/instrument is clearly present and has its role in the music, this album surely deserves a honorable mention. Being so dark and still giving each instrument enough space at the same time. The whole track sounds very wide and thus I recommend to listen to this with headphones (and in absolute darkness) to experience every aspect of this music. Although it's minimalistic, there's alot going in this multi-layered soundscape. Listening to this on big speakers, has the advantage that you can actually feel the droning and the gravity of this album.
In short, this is a true masterpiece, combining ambient-drones, thick bassy guitar lines, ultra slow doomy leads and an ever-present feel of darkness and emptiness. I cannot think of any other band that has a comparable sound, which is a good thing and only shows that Hlidolf is a very original-sounding project, but if you would mix Sunn O))) with dark ambient and several sad doomy leads, you'd get something that comes quite close to 'Vo1d'...
Duration : Approx. 69 minutes
Visit the Hlidolf bandpage.