A good split record now and then is a great concept by two collaborating outfits, and even though people might be more familiar with one of the artists or groups more so than the other, such records could (and often does) introduce people to new artists and sounds that hitherto had gone unnoticed; in the case of this split album, my knowledge of the two artists is strictly limited to A Death Cinematic (whose Simple Box Construction label is responsible for releasing this nifty little package). On several occasions in the last year, such split records have introduced me to several excellent outfits which I now look out for releases by to devour along with the other groups and musicians to which my attention is given; but it is not often that the vision of both artists seem to come from a similar place nor produce a similar affectation listeners. Such a singular vision from two disparate groups lends a huge weight to how impressive a split record can be perceived (at least it does for me); thinking about the want or desire to collaborate, making a split record is easy as two musicians or groups take some songs and put them together. By taking that little extra step, though, and having both entities write from a similar place or to a similar end, a split record can certainly seem more urgent or more gratifying in a way for the artists and the listeners rather than a marriage of convenience (as most split come across conceptually).
Not knowing how much thought that A Death Cinematic and Sons of Alpha Centaurii put into the preplanning for this release does not take away from the sense that both projects certainly have a brotherly affinity for similar moods, methods, and plans of attack; certainly not even close to “genetic” copies of one another (they are definitely very different groups) these two outfits reach a similar end in that their music both evokes and emotional response of some kind from any listener that takes the time with the whole record. Whether you get lost in the bass-y thrum and swirling atmospherics of Sons of Alpha Centaurii that can feel claustrophobic and tense with an underlying feeling of unease or dread at times or the pervasive sense of numbness and disorientation that A Death Cinematic conjures with its droning wails and subtle melodic figures, the music is ultimately engrossing when given the time but equally background music that does not intrude on the work at hand (you know the type of music where you throw on a record and keep playing it over and over while doing a hundred plus page academic work or something of that ilk), which exemplifies one Brian Eno’s definition of ambient music.
With the over forty-five minutes of sound provided by both A Death Cinematic (the tracks “We Brave The Storms While Our Lands Fall Into The Sea Beneath The Pandemonium Of The Sun…” and “And These Nights Have Brought Us Something Worse”) and Sons of Alpha Centaurii (the four movement piece “Ambient Visions (Solar Flare, Hemera, Ocean Floor, Transmission)” fashion an excellent example of how to do a split release. An excellent record that will reward anyone that takes the time with the album to get lost in its stark beauty and dense moods.
8.0 / 10
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