WHELM - A Gaze Blank and Pitiless as the Sun (Reissue) - CD - Aesthetic Death - 2015
A sound of a band dying? Since Whelm have split up, this - its only album - might
just be the sound of a band giving up.
This is nothing special, we agree, plenty of them (are no longer) around,
but in Whelm's case, we can see the reason why. They didn't have much fun. And,
yes, doom and sludge aren't supposed to be fun anyway, but you can vividly
imagine Whelm stops trying to make sense, and, worse, there is the feeling that
it could have done much more.
A Gaze Blank and Pitiless as the Sun is all atmosphere, strong and
desperate one. But conveyed through music like this, it is a vague description
of an atmosphere rather than an elaborate painting. To cut down the abstraction
- it is mostly down-tempo chugging, with a bored drummer and too much vocals.
The sound is correct. The lyrics are correct too. The first few songs are full
of wailing, mournful guitar leads, but they disappear towards the end. So do the
ideas, but Whelm kept going nonetheless. And the result is - a lot of the same.
If the album was half as long and played twice, the result would still be
the same - correct atmosphere and not much else to talk about. And on that
note, this review will do the same as the band - stop. (5.5/10)
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