Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dirge - Elysian Magnetic Fields

Here we have Dirge's fifth album, Elysian Magnetic Fields. I had never heard of this French band until I was contacted to do a review, and the description of the band I was provided with in an email from their promoter did not spark an interest in me.

Reluctantly, I went to the link they had provided for a Press Page, and downloaded the album from them in order to see if I wanted to support the band or not. My apprehension came back as a slap in the face.

Elysian Magnetic Fields is seriously layered to the maximum with a mix of Postcore and Sludge. There are so many things going on at any one time throughout the album that even after a handful of listens, I'm sure I'm still not totally grasping the magnitude of this album.

Although there is an enormous use of digital devices throughout the album, which I'm usually not a big fan of, the way in which Dirge handle their electronics is tasteful and a great addition to the overall sound. I've included a list of the members and their roles within the band towards the bottom, and it would appear that this is one versed group.

The vocals sail across the backdrop of sound in a half chanted type of yell, not so much demanding your focus as much as it seems to affect you subliminally. The entire album clocks in at just over an hour long with tracks ranging between two and twelve minutes. Two songs are seven minutes, and two are eleven (give or take the seconds)perhaps an ode to the convenience store chain? Doubtful, but it was my first instinct.

The amount of control that this band seems to possess is astounding. I can't really pinpoint an exact example, but I just feel "control" throughout the entire album. Dirge have been around since 1994, and have released four other albums, so apparently they put a lot of time and effort into their releases. I plan on checking out the rest of their albums at some point, but for now, I have this.

Marc T. / guitars, vocals, accordion & samples
Alain B. / drums, acoustic guitars & samples`
Christophe [zomb] D. / synthetic sounds
Stéphane L. / guitars, vocals & samples
Christian M. / bass

1. Morphée Rouge [9:36]
2. Obsidian [7:35]
3. Cocoon [11:29]
4. Sandstorm [7:14]
5. Elysian Magnetic Fields [10:14]
6. Narconaut [2:22]
7. Falling [5:51]
8. Apogee [11:57]


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