Review Summary: Journey somewhere far away in the deep recesses of a bygone state
Drone is an often misunderstood genre, one taken for granted and victimized by naysayers who regress to easier, more digestible audible escapes. Though taken into consideration, if escapism is indeed what a listener craves when sinking into a new album, logic would sway more towards drone’s underlying aesthetic, as escaping reality is the one of the key objectives of the genre. Without a voice, lyrics, or often times definable instruments, the music relies heavily on hypnotic elements such as sunken tones, swaying hums, and lucid textures to convey its message. It can be a truly mesmerizing effect, and on An Immensity Merely To Save Life, Celer demonstrate how to effectively render the concept of escapism into music, by gently guiding the listener through a soothing cosmos of warm structures and loose memories, to somewhere far away in the deep recesses of a bygone state.
Though only consisting of two tracks, An Immensity Merely To Save Life is a full and well-rounded listen, with each track evoking shared cohesive elements throughout, yet maintaining discreet characteristics as individuals. “Of My Complaisance” opens the album on a dreary note, with forlorn emotions gently scarring the hanging backdrop. The faint reminisce of strings can be heard sirening through the foggy arrangement, contrasting the damp atmosphere in search of life as gorgeous earth toned textures further steal the composition of breath. The ghosts eventually evaporate, and amidst the shrouded aftermath looms the “Gusts Of Hysterical Petulance”, a considerably more uplifting piece guided by the drowning echoes of a submerged synthesizer. Following the flood are expanding vibrations that accent the watery downfall, closing the album with a strange contrast of comfortable unease.
I assume this isn’t the first time Celer have successfully vehicled consciousness, as they have an immense catalogue full of what looks to be promising material, though this is the first album I’ve heard from the group. Despite their clearly frequent output, this is an album from start to finish that is extremely well put together, like every muted pulse, delicate murmur, and blurry vibration was enlightened by the dimly tuned knob of a physics major. Their awareness of space and how to fill it is a vital factor throughout, as the slightest change in pitch or tempo would derail the slightly mutating repetition of misted phrases off its beaten path. There’s no clear conceptual drive here, but after listening there’s certainly a chance you’ll feel like you’ve been somewhere else altogether, like the shadow of something indescribable.
Though this is music that consists of confronting subtleties and opaque subject matter, it doesn’t have to be clouded beneath the majorities comfort zone. This is surprisingly immediate ambient music that anybody could appreciate, whether familiar with the genre or not. These are sounds that on the surface, barely exist, but as time goes on feel intimately real and close to the mind as they wash out of their respected source, transporting the listener through a calming loop of aural bliss. Drone is as much a conscious effort as it is an audible one, and it’s albums like An Immensity Merely To Save Life that put this idea to the test, and if you give it a chance it can take you somewhere else completely.