Monday, 20 July 2020

Never Without the Pentagram (2020) by Hvile I Kaos/Emerson Sinclair - Music EP Review

I rarely do music reviews and with good reason, I am at best ill informed when it comes to music, I certainly have no place critiquing it. At the end of last year I wrote a review of the latest album from Hvile I Kaos, which is the personal project of prolific California-based cellist and composer Kakophonix. Now he has teamed up with Emerson Sinclair with a pretty neat split EP titled Never Without the Pentagram.

This EP is made up of 7 tracks, Hvile I Kaos opens and closes this, with Sinclair contributing the middle tunes. Opener is Rise, Engulf, Envenom which even at 11 minutes long was a genuinely good track. Like the previous EP I reviewed this sounded like 'rustic horror', all strings, again evoking The Witcher series of games. Second track, Intro is where things begin to change, and the journey that I didn't even expect begins to move along. This 2 minute track introduces the vocals of Sinclair which I was not expecting, while keeping the rustic sound.
Graphite is a continuation of the transformation in style of sound. Starting off with Medieval sounding female chanting this changes into something that I can only describe as making the demonic sound sacred and holy. Fourth track, Mother brings with it the introduction of industrial sounding music, and continues the unexpected with the addition of barking dogs who in their own way close out the track. This leads into Singularity that becomes even more industrial, with added synth, the sound reminded me a bit of NIN. The song felt light and optimistic despite the lyrics sounding like they were coming from the perspective of an occult or demonic being.
Penultimate track, Closing brings back the strings, and like Intro is a short interlude. It leads to final track, the 6 and a half minute Cleanse, Dispel, Disperse that begins with the typical old style sound but becomes something that sounds a lot more modern as it goes on.

I like the sound of Hvile I Kaos, so I knew that part was going to be good. I wasn't expecting how varied and unexpected the places this went to. Each track felt like an exciting new present to open, with it always managing to surprise. Kakophonix has said that the EP "flow as a continuous work of ceremonial magick", and that "stylistically it's best described as occult neoclassical with elements of black metal and electronic music". I may not know much when it comes to music, but I know this was a joyous ride from start to finish. Never Without the Pentagram was released on 10th July by Metal Assault.


No comments: