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SONAR - Black Light - CD - Cuneiform Records - 2015
The new Sonar album unfolds slowly as the nine minute "Enneagram"
builds up. There is a dark vibe to the music, sounding like a restrained hybrid
of Tool and King Crimson (a possible contribution of David Bottrill who was
responsible for the mix, and who produced such modern classics as Tool's 2001 Lateralus
and King Crimson's 1995 Thrak, to name a few).
But vibe aside, this instrumental music does not peak. It continues to float
ashore instead of sweeping you into the sea.
Furthermore, the semi-repetitive / quasistatic nature of the music (which we
described in our review of the band's 2014 release Static Motion) is still not as
hypnotic nor as engaging as we think it should be, and yet we do feel that this
Switzerland based band has matured towards accomplishing this in the future.
Still, Black Light maintains aural appeal, as the music is spacious
and inviting as opposed to the aforementioned influences that can get quite
overbearing; and the dedication of the quartet to its vision is admirable, as
is their willingness to elaborate it with fresh tones ("Angualar
Momentum," for example, holds hints of Mediterranean music; and
"String Geometry" eventually hooks them with another, perhaps even
more obvious crossbread of Tool and King Crimson). (7/10)
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