Sound Weave is a collaboration between Theta Naught and poet Alex Caldiero. Combining cello and bass ambiance with occasional drum theatrics, bewildering soundscapes, and the ardour and insanity of improvisational poetry, it aims to combine a musical experiment "in a symbiotic form with creative language-based explorations." In other words, it sets the words of Alex Caldiero to the music of Theta Naught. Simple.
Opening with nearly seven minutes of bass lines and drums with a simple and intermittent guitar, instrumental opener "Argus Flectus" recalls the quieter end of modern Tool, that carries through the bass work on much of Sound Weave. The spoken word and disconcerting ambiance of "The Invitation" invites cellos into a mix, but carries on through unnecessary musical and lyrical repetition that stops being interesting less than half way through. "Parts" resounds with all the meter of beat poets set to drums and strings that slowly grows enough to justify it's five minutes. "Memory Sees in Slices" resurrects the soundscapes of "Argus Flectus" and develops to the cusp of eruption, without ever quite going over the edge. All considered and thought-out, it is only with the synths of "Take It", that a level of urgency, missing from much of the album enters the frame.
Closing with "That One", a string laden dirge not too far from VNV Nation's Liebstod, Sound Weave clocks in at just over an hour, a time not quite justified by the exorbitant repetition rife through individual songs and the general lack of change of direction throughout. Often only kept interesting through the crazed and disturbing words, the listener would otherwise find themselves in a world of indistinguishable dirges that, at any one time, could be a part of any other song on the album.
Sound Weave comes complete with a "bonus" disk of eight instrumentals (just to show that Theta Naught haven't forgotten their instrumental nature) that sound exactly the same as the main disk. Without the interesting and often disquieting poetry, the extra three quarters of an hour only seems to reinforce that Sound Weave works better as the words of a poet set to music. For an album claimed as "pioneering" and "a stunning piece of art", it's disappointing that it is Alex Caldiero and not Theta Naught that brings the art and definition to Sound Weave. As it is, it is a stunning piece of improvisational poetry set to an almost perfect compliment of music. It's disheartening that it seems the whole ethos was meant to be the other way around.
7.4 / 10
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