7 October 2008

Unconquered = Crucial Blast's featured release of the week

From the Crucial Blast Shop: http://www.crucialblastshop.net/

Our featured release, the debut full length from the Canadian band Thisquietarmy, which is actually just one guy, but he creates a massive droneological sound with this collection of drifting guitar ambience and pummeling Industrial sludge. Fans of Nadja will definitely want to check this out, not only because Thisquietarmy at times offers up a likeminded form of blissed out, shoegazy heaviness, but also because Nadja's Aidan Baker himself appears on one of these tracks, contributing some great dreamy guitar drones.


Also, a full-length, full-on / rave-on review! I don't know how to link it, so I'll just post it in its entirety, here:

Much the finest guitar-based heavy ambient music that I have been listening to lately has been coming from north of the border, Canada to be precise. Aidan Baker, obviously, for one; he's been on a roll this year with not only an assload of new Nadja releases but also a respectable number of solo discs, and all of 'em have been fantastic collections of spacious slowcore and dreamy drift. Then there is Aun, the solo industrial guitar drone project from Martin Dumais whose amazing Multigone disc was so heavy and alien sounding, I had to release it through our Crucial Bliss imprint.

Now there's another Canadian guitar-ambient artist that I've recently discovered, a guy named Eric Quach who records solo under the name Thisquietarmy, and he just released this amazing debut album through the Polish label Foreshadowm Productions, who some of you might recognize for releasing the reissue of Nadja's Corrasion CD last year. Unconquered actually features Aidan Baker from Nadja on the opening track, contributing some of his heavenly guitar feedback and gossamer textures to the song, and his presence on this disc might give you an idea of what kind of sound is happening here....the first few tracks focus on heavy guitar-based ambience formed from gorgeous dreamy melodic drift and slabs of sculpted feedback, dark and fuzzy sheets of amplifier drone and shimmering distorted strings. Fans of Aidan Baker and Troum would love this stuff.

But the album isn't all just ambient guitarscapes. The third song "Warchitects" makes that pretty clear as it kicks in with pounding industrial rhythm and majestic grinding riffage; from the beginning, the song is an awesome combination of epic synth-like melodies and crushing ethereal dirge, like a space-rock Godflesh doing the anthemic closing song over the credit roll from an 80's teen movie. The following track "The Sun Destroyers" is also heavily rhythmic, but the rhythm here is a kind of rattling, clanking machine loop that cycles over and over underneath swells of fuzzy widescreen ambience that swirls and drifts along dreamily, as an ominous melodic guitar lead soars through the fog of violet twilight drones. Man, this is beautiful stuff, an evocative mix of industrial dreamsludge, dark guitar ambience, heavy fuzz-encrusted dronescapes, and the rest of the album moves through varying shades of these sonic elements...

But the highlight of Unconquered is without a doubt the sixth song, "The Great Escapist", where the plodding industrial drum machine rears up again with a pounding Godflesh-like beat, thumping away behind a gorgeous melody formed from nebulous guitar textures and what sounds like looped synths, and featuring the deep, soulful vocals of Meryem Yildiz. Her voice is gorgeous, and it turns what would have otherwise been amazing blissed-out sludge into something that sounds (much like the earlier track "Warchitects") like an unbelieveably beautiful 80's gloom-pop song infused with shoegazey industrial slowcore. I love that song.

This is an album that Nadja fans should check out, not that the two bands sound exactly alike, but there are definitely some similiarities, the dreamy guitar drift, the heavier shoegazey Godflesh-like stuff, all of that. But Thisquietarmy is much more dreamy, much less "metal", and the music has a heavily synthetic, sometimes propulsive quality that keeps reminding me of Tangerine Dream's electronic soundtracks from the 1980's and other epic, "synthy" soundscapes. It took me one listen to this to pick it as this week's featured release, and it's highly recommended to anyone into heavy, industrial-tinged ambience and gorgeously gloomy guitardrone.


Crucial Blast Webstore is a great store hailing from Maryland, existing in conjunction with Crucial Blast Records, that specializes in heavy underground music that spans the adventurous, avant-garde, quirky, and downright weird.

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