It’s always good to see artists put a bit of effort into their work and this new self-released double album by A Death Cinematic certainly isn’t lacking in the blood, sweat and tears department. When head honcho (‘Mr Edwards sir’) said this release had some rather well considered packaging I got a little excited. It comes in a chipboard slip case stamped with a large red cross declaring you ear marked for the apocalypse. The actual CD’s are encased in a double-sided plywood housing and the whole package is printed with a stark sepia wash photography. This is the product of one man, and it would appear he has a very specific vision as to how his art is perceived. Before you even listen to the music you’re left with an impression of the work.
It is very clear from the bands myspace page this is just one elemental piece within a large spectrum of artistic endeavour created by this one man DIY outfit. From A Death Cinematic to his visual/graphics project Simple Box Construction which is responsible for all the photographic and mechanical production of his work, including a self made and released photography book. It all ties into one visual/aural thematic process.
The music contained within the lush packaging covers a more experimental ambient end of the sonic spectrum. Taking in references like Godspeed You Black Emperor and more minimal A Silver Mt Zion moments, it even hints at the more atmospheric ambient pieces of Burzum in its trebly wash of guitar tone. We have layers of heavily effects-infected guitar drones, chimes and the odd distorted metal riff, mixed to the point that it sounds as if it’s played under a layer of ice. All of this is created purely on guitars and largely improvised whilst recorded through a 4 track. The multi-layered pieces sometimes pulling in different directions, exploring their own linear make-up of sequential note making and drones. It’s an interesting listen and ADC are quite successful in absorbing the listener into it’s decaying world, whilst strictly limiting the sound to guitar based noise it’s one limitation. A little more experimentation in found sounds and recording experimentation would make this a very special release. It’s quite an impressive body of work A Death Cinematic have created and worth seeking out for anyone interested in the more experimental, artistic end of the ambient spectrum.
This release highlights a very important aspect of our musical climate, that of music as art and also product. This release would be only half the vision without the CD housing. It makes for a very refreshing change to see somebody so heavily involved in the visual side of their work. If only more artists/bands put the same time and effort into the other aspects of their music. The ambition and dedication to the ADC vision is worthy of further investigation.
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Andrew Sloan