Strom Noir "Glaciology" CD
It looks like the relation between acclaimed Polish label Zoharum and leading Slovak dronescaping project Strom Noir, driven by Emil Maťko, is getting stronger and stronger. The result of this rewarding collaboration is entitled "Glaciology" with additional subtitle in Slovak [štyri skladby pre sneh & ľad], in English [four songs for snow & ice]. The album is out since February 2nd, 2015 in limited edition of 300 copies. Just the same as with applauded previous "Urban Blues" album on Zoharum, the CD comes in beautiful 6-panel eco wallet with matte finish featuring some impressive panoramic photos by Martin Matula, precisely interacting with vast wintery solitudes. Attractively executed, guys, so I am awarding first bonus points!!!
14-plus minutes long "Névé" reveals the journey with mesmerizingly reverberating drone texture, soothingly billowing through gorgeously poetic terrains, introspectively expansive, although here and there accompanied by dimply piercing dissonances. The track continuously grows on me and inconspicuously expose all its shimmeringly splendorous magic, before calmly fading away into embracing elusive stillness at the end of second third. After that the drone kaleidoscope gently awakes again and smoothly crescendoes into contemplative emptiness. A pure listening pleasure awaits here!!! "Firn" tickles the ears with more discordant texture melting monochromatic drone helixes with long forgotten memories evoked by stirringly whirling strings, slightly cacophonous tensity achieves its climax, before diminishing into weirdly mindscaping outro. "Penitentes" safely hangs in the spellbinding spheres, when ceaselessly expanding and painting nearly hallucinogenic spirals, spaciously engrossing and enigmatically piercing, just like the tall icy blade formations, yet sparsely counterpointed with warmly encircling string fragments. "Moréna" ("Moraine" in English) is wrapped into hauntingly captivating hissy nostalgia, exquisitely intertwined with continuously monotonous drone loops and distant stringed currents generating astonishingly beautiful vistas of glaciated valleys. Euphoniously glorious dronescape, bravo, Emil!!! The closing composition "Niekedy Sa Vracajú (Original Full-length Version)" clocks to 20:30 in length, in English "Sometime They Return", and it's listed on the CD as a bonus track. Its shorter, 16-minute version has already appeared on "Tanec Rusaliek" cassette (out on Dronarivm label). This track delves into more serene terrains, yet strongly mindscaping, but always poignantly augmented by glimmering reflections, while ephemeral high-pitched string fractions pervade through the surface of droning wistfulness along with glimpses of harshly edged riffs. A true sonic bliss, monstrously thrilling with utterly expressive harmonic desolations, which will gratify each dedicated connoisseur of guitar drone sonorousness.
"Glaciology", recorded between October 2012 and January 2013 (except "Niekedy Sa Vracajú" from February 2012) and mastered, same as "Urban Blues", by Michal Iliaš, is undoubtedly another victorious achievement in Emil Maťko's recording career, standing shoulder to shoulder with "Urban Blues" and traversing to the summit of his already praised discography. All the time filled with Strom Noir's unmistakable insignias of extraordinary poignancy, which magnificently drifts the listener into absolutely fascinating sceneries persistently caressed by gentle wind of nostalgic treasures. It's always a great delight to journey with Strom Noir, this guy must be one of the best export articles in Slovakia. Big congratulations, Emil, and keep on droning!!! And by the way, in the meantime Russian label Pantheon (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ) has released an artful cassette entitled "Esoptron" ("ΕΣΟΠΤΡΟΝ"), limited to 50 copies.
Richard Gürtler (Apr 04, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)