Keywords: Witch Wave, Acoustic Ambient, Dark Psyche, Electronica
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
Hexenwahn (“Witch Hunt”) was another recommendation, and I was more than happy to take it since the keywords intrigued me. What is more, I was not altogether disappointed with what I heard. Then again, I suppose I could be under a spell… next time an unmarked satchel of rose-hip and cat livers shows up in the mail, I probably shouldn’t just eat it.
Things get off to a good start with ‘Now, I Know Your Words’. A piano plays darkly, reverberating naturally into the otherwise quiet atmosphere. Then, abruptly, an electronic tone with what sounds like could be either a triangular or square low frequency oscillator enters the mix. It’s soon followed by what sounds like an electric harpsichord or maybe synthetic plucked string. The feel of the track is almost as medieval dark age as the artwork, but there’s a lightness in the melody and structure often enough that it never really gets too oppressive.
This is followed by ‘Sometimes I Feel You’, which begins with acoustic guitar. It’s a touch neo-folksy; the melody is like a provocative, eternal sorrow. A low horn of some kind backs the guitar. After the horn drops out for awhile the guitar makes a styled, minimalistic breakdown section for itself. When the horn comes back it is joined by a bright, weepy synthline with vibrato. It has a sound similar to a theremin. The track feels penitent, restrained… like a man forced to sit in a room alone, contemplating his betrayel or the loss of love.
Thankfully, ‘Sad Dreams Aren’t Forever’… but from the sound of things, this song doesn’t know it. I found it to be the most beautiful of the compositions making up this short work. Piano, guitar and lonesome vocal choir play cheerlessly, but elegantly dredge up feelings of lament. However, just over halfway through when the piano goes into a solo, things pick up again. Not really in the tone of the work, but in the tempo. At least, this brings hope. A sweet-sounding synthesized lead breaks in, like a birdsong… sort of like a birdsong. Ok, more like an alien bird from another planet really, but yeah. First impressions.
The last song on this album is ‘All The Day I Dream About You’, or as I like to call it, A.D.I.D.A.Y. Guitar plays like a tragedy, ringing out into the dark. Eventually another guitar comes in, followed by the deep growl of a bass synth. Other synths join the fray, and it’s like you’re running through the woods chasing the unattainable, or perhaps it is you being chased? Then you wake up, and the album/dream/spell is over.
In the end, I really enjoyed this work. It was folksy but not afraid to add obvious electronics, a bit Medieval but not over the top like Dead Can Dance could get at times. The only criticisms I had were that I was left feeling like it could have used more atmosphere… and/or probably more of a wave sound with added synthesizers or possibly even some rhythm if only something very basic. Other than that, I did enjoy the impenetrable and introspective sadness of the album, which was conveyed very effectively by the simple chords of the piano and guitar. You can download it here: