Started as the acoustic project of musician Mat Sweet, Boduf Songs have been transforming throughout the years. The debut self-titled album of the band featured interesting acoustic compositions, recorded with minimal equipment in Sweet’s own room back in 2004, but soon enough bloomed into a darker, experimental act. Such tendencies were revealed in Lion Devours the Sun as the music started to explore different areas. The move towards the electric domain would come soon after with the project’s third album, How Shadows Chase The Balance. And as if was not enough the evolution of the sound would keep uninterrupted through This Above All Else In Spite of Everything finding Sweet still tempering with his sonic identity and finally Burnt Up On Re-Entry. In the latter release, not only does Sweet brings back the electronic elements of his music but introduces heavy guitars in the mix.
In his latest album with Boduf Songs, Sweet continues to bend the compositions to his will, trying to further enhance the sound of this project to his concept. The result is quite staggering to be honest, as he manages to produce a well varied album featuring intriguing parts from different sonic areas.
The acoustic core of the project is still going strong, with the guitar melodies are offering some very emotional moments. The welcoming phrases of “Great Anthem of My Youth” come to mind, slowly reeling you in the vision of Sweet. In a more subtle form they are found in parts of “Modern Orbita” and in “The Rotted Names” creating a friendlier zone for you. But that is just a small part of the sound of Boduf Songs, and even though the music is not aggressive, it certainly is dark. A mesmerizing quality is always hovering over the songs of Stench of Exist, which is further enhanced with the use of repetition in the songs structure. Even if the songs have more drive, as is the case with “Thwart My Thwart,” the hypnotic vibe is still present. It is actually also a result of certain drum patterns in some instances, as is the case with “Last Song Save One.” And when the mood needs to travel to even gloomier paths, Sweet can easily unfold his most melancholic self. From the initial notes of “My Continuing Battle With Material Reality” the tone for the album has been set, and through the mazes of “Great Anthem of My Youth,” the background instrumentation of “Grows In The Small World of Nerve” interlude to the bleak “Last Song Save One,” Sweets unveils all his sides.
But Boduf Songs break through the containment of acoustic music. The inclusion of drones in the composition and the minimalistic extent of Sweet’s project showcase that. In “My Continuing Battle With Material Reality” the slight drones give more suspense, while the electronic soundscapes that the act creates on the final song of the album create an eerie ambiance for the track. In other cases the use of feedback has some interesting effects, as in “Head of Hollow.” Within all that Sweet also throws in a few samples in order to make the listeners even more uneasy with his compositions. From simple voice samples, found in “Thwart My Thwart” and “Great Anthem of My Youth,” to the rain sample of “Grows In The Small World of Nerve” and the Stephen Hawking quote in “Head of Hollow-Fill and Mountaintop Removal,” Sweet always uses the right sound to convey his messages to the listener.
As part of Boduf Songs evolution, electronic influences have become a large part of the project’s sound. The intro of the album is itself a statement of that mindset, with the sparse sounds, big drones and unearthly screams having an immediate impact. The electronic drums of “My Continuing Battle with Material Reality” set the minimalistic beat for the song, while in other cases a pulse is introduced to achieve the same result, as in “The Rotted Names.” The addition of effects in “Great Anthem of My Youth” and the rich background of “Modern Orbita” create unstable backgrounds and expand the tracks spatially with their trippy ideas. More industrial concepts are explored in songs as “Head of Hollow-Fill and Mountaintop Removal,” even verging to noise territories in some instances.
As Stench of Exist sets upon you, and Sweet accompanies you with his always tremendous voice, it seems to be very hard to escape the album. The intoxicating music can somehow be at the same time dark but also easily accessible.
7.8 / 10
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