Monday, 27 January 2014

Review: Permanence - Deathmøle

It's nice to be back, doing real reviews again. "We don't care!" you say? Well, fuck you very much, anonymous (and quite possibly non-existent) commenter. I don't care if you read these or not, I do them mostly for myself. But tell your friends, maybe I can actually make a couple of cents from this thing!

For the uninitiated, Deathmole (stupid Blogger, won't let me put in accents, grrr) is a one man band by Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content fame. Holy crap, the guy that make a webcomic that used to be about music no one's ever heard of is now making music no one's ever going to listen to! I kid Jeph, I kid, please don't do another Handelore thing because of me.

Deathmole has always been a side project, taking a backseat to Jeph's main source of income, his webcomic. Everything was done literally in-house, with the drums being synth'd (I think), and all the guitar/bass work being written and played by Jeph. So, probably in a drunken stupor, he came up with the idea to Kickstart an album done in a "professional" studio. It's funny because in the documentary, he was the first person to ever record in it. Looked like it was built in an attic too, don't know how they got "professional" acoustics in there.

Back to the Kickstarter. He got his goal of $9,500 in a day. Hell, I'd be pretty fucking pleased with myself if I could make that in a couple of months! It kept growing and growing, with extra stretch goals being added until the final day, where it hit over $141k, almost 15 times what he asked for! My backing definitely didn't hurt, but $20 pales in comparison to that goliath sized tower of cash.

His pile of money is probably in there somewhere.

It all resulted in this neat little, 8-string driven, post-metal album that really catches you if you're the right kind of person. Personally, I really like it, and instead of closing this window, you can "watch" me justify this like a good audience.

Where do I start though? Alright, it's a "post" subgenre, so you know it's going to be a little masturbatory. There might be some sort of meaning to each song, especially with titles like, "Nothing is Permanent", "Acceptance" and "Everything is Permanent". Way to contradict yourself in the span of 20 minutes there. Just so I don't confuse anyone, the whole thing is about 45 minutes long, which is really impressive considering it was recorded in a week by one guy.

In a way, it's like shoegaze. If you want the real "feeling" behind everything, it needs overanalysis. You know, the kind that English majors spend their lives justifying.

It makes for great, almost soothing stuff though. Probably won't be soothing to most people, I've just been listening to a lot of death and black metal lately. I can get lost in it, making it perfect to fall asleep or study too. Or hell, even just some sensory deprivation while lying back in my chair with my good headphones. I can't really do that with all post-rock/metal stuff, it's just done as well as it is here. There's some great tonal blending and a great wall-of-sound delivery, especially on tracks like, "College". Something a little like my own university experience so far. The guitar work isn't blazing fast, nor does it need to be. Jeph, and the rest of the production team, knew exactly where to put the slides, the chugging, the tremolo picking and everything into the mix.

Goddamn, what else can I say about it? It's hard to write long positive reviews, especially on instrumental stuff. It's great, that's all I can really say about it. I'd say get it on bandcamp but it's only available to Kickstarter backers right now so neh he he, sucks to be you. Keep up the great work Jeph, it's nice to see you've got even more artistic talent.

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