iNTRiKeT
The Woods


4.0
excellent

Review

by TMobotron CONTRIBUTOR (25 Reviews)
November 28th, 2012 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Powerful and engaging, the only complaint to be had with The Woods is that you'll probably want more of the greatness it has to offer.

The Woods begins with a curiously titled “Intro (Anxiety)”. It's curious because, despite its name, “Anxiety” is about as calming as tracks come. But maybe that's a misinterpretation of the meaning. Maybe the intro itself isn't meant to be the anxious track – maybe it's meant to be an intro to the anxiety. The latter interpretation would definitely seem like a more fitting representation, considering that The Woods is built in a way that takes the listener from an initial state of celestial peace to a final point of dark, uneasy brooding. The album is without a doubt a journey, and iNTRiKeT has very clearly built it this way on purpose.

The album starts in a peaceful state, with the proper opening track “As I Am” built initially around a charming acoustic guitar piece laid over some lightly padded percussion that feels like the perfect soundtrack to a daydream. But the key to its beauty lies in the subtleties. The airy spaciousness of the omnipresent, supporting synth-lines allows for the constant builds and variations to take the listener by surprise, until suddenly being hit with the transition into a moodier section that ties the overall feeling of the track down and brings the listener at least somewhat back to earth. It's still the same peaceful daydream accompaniment, but now it seems to be leading the way. There's a much more obvious driving force behind everything, which is how most of The Woods plays out.

There's an incredible over-arching atmosphere that contains a shockingly strong ability to take the listener into the album's unique world. It's made especially powerful by the variation in moods which really turns the album into a journey, from the celestial beginnings to the dark, haunting finish. The middle interlude is really the pivotal point here, after which the dreamy synths are typically dropped for more dissonant, brooding soundscapes. The light percussion gives way to a rhythmic style that, at some points, is just plain devastating.

There's just something about that combination of dense, dark atmosphere piled on top of hard-hitting percussion that creates a style that's almost unparalleled in how impacting it can be. It's what makes dark dubstep such a strong meditative sound, and the influence of that style is greatly apparent in the latter half of The Woods. “Giant Sun”'s tribal percussion is reminiscent of a style that only Mala or Skream on his finest day are capable of, but layered underneath the almost apocalyptic feeling of the swelling, weighty basslines and intense overall atmosphere, the track is a paradigm for everything that dark dubstep should be aiming for. It starts out dark and it ends up just plain brutal.

The remainder of the album remains relatively within the same mood, which is fortunate because the cohesiveness of the album really makes it feel like there's no turning back at this point. While “Enough” remains dark, it still manages to lighten the pace up a bit through the use of an infectiously catchy melody and stuttering percussion (which maintains iNTRiKeT's consistent ability to find percussion that's not only perfectly fitting for the track, but also varied and unique). There are well-executed, captivating builds. There are dense moods that can vary from melancholic to absolutely gutting. There's enough weight here to compete with even the darkest and heaviest of iNTRiKeT's contemporaries.

There's a slight feeling that the dark, latter half outshines the initial lighter half, but it's reasonably forgivable because of how well the album works as a whole. The only substantial beef to be had here is that with an intro and outro track combining into ten of the album's fifty-five minutes, there's really not enough room for a five minute interlude or some of the lengthier individual track outros that are found on here. That isn't to say that any of those individual pieces are throw-aways, because the intro is a strong lead-in, the interlude is touching, and the outro is actually one of the strongest tracks here. But the end of “As I Am” is a completely unnecessary three minutes, “Raindrops” ends with a minute of, well, raindrops, only to lead into the interlude. It's the cumulative effect that becomes the real problem. There's not enough content between the intro and the interlude, and the outro comes too early to wind the album down.

Despite some slight spacing and pacing issues, the pure content on here is absolutely stunning, especially for a first album. The densely layered soundscapes on here rival Clubroot's impressive III – MXII, and the rugged bass weight is reminiscent of Digital Mystikz and their followers at their most aggressive. The Woods sounds like the album of a producer who has spent plenty of time listening to the most impressive acts in today's electronic world, and has channeled their abilities well. What it doesn't sound like is a debut album, which showcases not only how impressive the work on here is, but how great it will be to see what the producer has in store for the future.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


7133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was gonna write out all my compliments/criticisms in the other thread just for the hell of it, but
it got lengthy enough I decided to just turn the whole thing into a review. It kind of reads that way,
but oh well. Strong 4, and from Giant Sun on this absolutely kills.

Streaming below:

http://intriket.bandcamp.com/

Jash
November 27th 2012


4244 Comments


Love this review man, thank you for the words!!!

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


21460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this needs an introduction paragraph me thinks. good review tho

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


7133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

NP man, I'm genuinely digging this a lot so no thanks is necessary.

Jash
November 27th 2012


4244 Comments


still in shock that you compared me to DMZ/Mala and Clubroot, which are two of my biggest hero's as far as producing goes.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


23909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

great review man, love that this is getting some exposure. keep the reviews coming!

"and from Giant Sun on this absolutely kills."

right? the second half of this album destroys my shit every time. every fucking time.

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

Keyblade
November 27th 2012


15013 Comments


edit: wrong thread

Digging: Submotion Orchestra - Alium

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


21460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

;D

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
November 27th 2012


7133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"right? the second half of this album destroys my shit every time. every fucking time."

Yeah I'm a sucker for that vibe and some of the soundscapes and percussion are just unreal. And yeah Jash, your spacier synths (especially the ones that kind of swell and just hang in the air) remind me so much of clubroot, and the tribal drums remind me a lot of DMZ or maybe Skream's Bahl FWD.

And I get what you mean about the intro insurrection, but i kind of wanted my first para to function as one while jumping into the review. I hate when reviews have contrived intros because it's just a waste of text. Probably could've done it better but oh well, and I appreciate the feedback.

MichaelSnoxall
November 28th 2012


12163 Comments


sweet review, really digging this album atm.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2012


23909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Yeah I'm a sucker for that vibe and some of the soundscapes and percussion are just unreal."

same same same.

that part in the title-track might be my musical moment of the year:

"what scares you about the woods? what frightens you?"
".....everything"
====>sub-bass straight from the bowels of hell

chills every time, even now typing it (and reliving it in my head)

scissorlocked
November 28th 2012


3511 Comments


wow, a second review!

gettin on the sputnik hype train!

Digging: Traumprinz - All The Things

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2012


6487 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome awesome stuff. Great review as well! (Aids, yours is very good as well btw)

The mix (on Bandcamp) is quite low, however. Don't know if it's intentional or not?

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

Jash
November 28th 2012


4244 Comments


I didn't get the tracks mastered so they're gonna be quieter than your average album

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2012


6487 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Alright, was just wondering ;]

MO
November 29th 2012


18865 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is really awesome good job jash

Jash
November 29th 2012


4244 Comments


Thanks man!

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 30th 2012


23909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Powerful and engaging, the only complaint to be had with The Woods is that you'll probably want more of the greatness it has to offer."

I just realized that this is a perfect summary. I could honestly 5 this if it had like two or three more big tracks a la mode any of the songs on this LP

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 30th 2012


21460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think the album length was pushing it already. what prevents me from rating this anything higher than a 4 is that the second half is sooo much better than the first half.

Jash
November 30th 2012


4244 Comments


^^^



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