Review: Peter Wolff & Jens Borgaard ‘Destroyer’

The third solo record from Downfall Of Gaia‘s Peter Wolff, Destroyer sees him collaborate with Dutch folk singer Jens Borgaard as well as visual artist Kai Lietzke who had worked with Wolff on his previous album Breath. Now, I am not familiar with Wolff‘s solo releases, but I do know Downfall Of Gaia, so I am very interested in how this release will sound.

Peter Wolff & Jens Borgaard 'Destroyer' Artwork
Peter Wolff & Jens Borgaard ‘Destroyer’ Artwork

The idea for Destroyer came from the concept of a man who causes a fatal car crash, and his thoughts/feelings about how it happened and how, despite his efforts to disassociate himself from blame, everything he now knows will be destroyed. A heavy concept but one ripe with opportunities for atmospheric storytelling.

Opener Dwell gives you a thrumming, slightly uncomfortable beat with scratchy melodies creeping under the charismatic voice of Borgaard; the whole piece gives you a real foreboding and that is a vibe that continues to rear its head frequently throughout Destroyer.

You would never expect an album built around such concepts to be an easy listen, but somehow each track becomes more and more haunting. The swelling crawl of End, the graceful piano of Serene, the sleek drone of Transmit, each track is part of a complete experience and could not have the same effect if listened to them separately from each other.

industrial samples crash and splinter behind the apocalyptic poetry of the lyrics…

Where Destroyer really starts to become visceral is Rain, where harsh industrial samples crash and splinter behind the apocalyptic poetry of the lyrics. It is a real intensity shift from before, which makes the tranquil follow up Observe feel even more like a respite. You feel aware of every inch of the story being woven, be it through the evocative vocals of Borgaard or through the atmospheric interplay of Wolff‘s soundscapes.

From the almost cyberpunk soundscapes of You to the darkness of Extole, the album is more of a work of experimental art than a mere listening experience. If you want to gain the full pleasure from this, I recommend the the audio/visual experience, but if you’re only able to take in the musical side, then this is more than worth your time. Evocative, mesmerising and a truly driven, focused dark ambient piece in a genre that can sometimes lack that.

Label: My Proud Mountain
Peter Wolff: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram
Jens Borgaard: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Sandy Williamson