Author Topic: My review of "The White Island" CDr by Eyes Cast Down  (Read 479 times)

richardgurtler

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My review of "The White Island" CDr by Eyes Cast Down
« on: January 16, 2018, 11:11:38 AM »


Eyes Cast Down "The White Island" CDr

Fourth solo album by Eyes Cast Down entitled "The White Island" is out since October 1st, 2017, through Kalindi Music, a small label run by Greg Moorcroft, the sole protagonist behind this Chicago domiciled project. This album follows previous releases "The Separate Ones" (February 2013), "Divinations" (June 2014) and "Souls Adrift, In Disrepair" (July 2016). To make the discography of Eyes Cast Down complete, I have to mention also a collaborative recording "Memory Palace" with Chris Russell, released back in December 2014. "The White Island" is available as a CDr edition packaged in a 4-panel digipak designed by the artist himself and featuring his inside photographs, while the credit for the front and back cover photographs goes to Greg Moorcroft's wife Dasi.

"Mirage One" is the opening 8 and a half minutes long piece, while another two "Mirage" parts appear later on the album. Profoundly immersing, yet calmly reverberating solitary horizons invade and fastidiously juxtapose with persistently permeating glimpses of embracing quietudes. The track title, the visuals and obviously the drone guitar-driven balmy soundscape shifts the listener into silently enveloping linear sceneries. The next composition, 9-minute "The Four Directions Seemed Aflame", carefully merges eternally monochromatic desolate hums with insistently tiding meridians of stretched introspective, but dissonantly traversing transcendental helixes. As much poignantly evocative as it is sonorously ear-piercing, a true sonic opus!!! "Mirage Two", which gets over 11-minute mark, quickly returns to quieter terrains, but again illuminated by titillating cascades of echoed, peculiarly vague hues. "The Eons Are Closing", with 16-plus minutes the longest composition on the album, dives into more contemplative realms and even if reinforced by glancing subtle lyrical-like patterns here and there, some mysteriously unfathomable depths are entered as well, yet still percolated by various distantly rumbling and intriguingly aberrant traceries. "Mirage Three" follows the serenely engulfing path, where gentle flickers continuously arise and evanesce across the tightly immersing layers. Poignant vistas of silence are resurrected as well. Beauty!!! "Submerge", at 5:11 the shortest piece on "The White Island", is firmly rooted to the halcyon resonations of its predecessor, but relentlessly pervaded by a display of high-pitched traverses. Longer "Mystic Memory" takes the listener into magnificently ambiguous subterranean realms, where calmly sinuous streams are exquisitely bridged with perpetually ascending and ominously crescendoing labyrinths. An epic grand finale awaits here!!!

Unfortunately, the unstable CDr format doesn't justify Eyes Cast Down's exceptional artistry in live improvising, when masterfully utilizing 6- and 12-string and fretless electric guitars, electric mandolin, EBow and slide guitar with various soundscaping techniques. Sonic monuments such as "The White Island" and "Souls Adrift, In Disrepair" certainly deserve a glass mastered CD!!! Yes, I can imagine the budget is always very tight and the nowadays' sales most likely don't provide enough support reflected by sales, but I still trust in much bigger potential when having a proper format on hand, more especially in a connection with such creative force exhibited by Eyes Cast Down. I will keep my fingers crossed for you, Greg, because your wizardry needs to be explored, experienced and celebrated!!! Indeed, 74-minute "The White Island" is a well-hidden gem!!!

Richard Gürtler (Jan 14, 2018, Bratislava, Slovakia)