Laurel Halo
Chance of Rain


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matt Harrison CONTRIBUTOR (20 Reviews)
April 10th, 2014 | 19 replies


Release Date: 10/28/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Feral static.

While there has never truly been any evidence to determine what brings on my epileptic seizures, I can’t help but think descending into one during the second track of Chance of Rain was far from chance. It was simply too fitting. That my consciousness would pulsate and crackle like static as my brain ignited in an electrical storm of blurry, half-forgotten memories, all while Laurel Halo conjured up the exact same atmosphere on Chance of Rain’s nine tracks, legitimately terrifies me. Was the submerged bass and mechanical percussion on “Oneiroi” an actual, discernable trigger for my seizure? Or the crunching, industrial drums of “Serendip” pounding in synch with the flashing images in my head? The uncanny parallel of both tracks sure as hell would convince me of it, but that’s all subjective, right? The odds of Laurel Halo having consciously crafted an album that sonically represents the feeling of a simple-partial seizure (i.e. one that does not render the individual unconscious) is probably too much of a long shot, and I’m simply looking for a correlation. I have to.

While the parallel to my epilepsy is almost certainly unintentional on her part, the deconstruction of her music over the course of her discography does draw remarkable similarities to my seizures. On Quarantine, for example, the devolution of her voice into the harrowing, imperfect entity that we as listeners have come to either love or hate, is much like the temporary devolution of my consciousness, which can sometimes be as significant a change as forgetting what I look like or where I am. Now on Chance of Rain, Halo has entirely excluded her voice, opting instead for churning, rhythmic scaffolding that holds together diluted tones and textures. The tracks almost embody a feral sort of static that while certainly forward-moving over the album’s 45-minute length, can sometimes be difficult to differentiate in retrospect.

Still, for what feels overly repetitive to this listener in tracks like “Serendip” and “Thrax,” is more likely due to my own inexperience in the genre, something that would be cured with a more seasoned palate. Thankfully, however, the majority of the tracks offer a tasteful variety of expanding and shifting sounds throughout their length. “Ainnome” pulsates with droplets of bass and escalating futuristic synth textures, and “Chance of Rain” drives along with ricocheting and club-style bass kicks. Though retaining some level of minimalism, in comparison to her past efforts at least, the tracks offer plenty to focus on and pick apart. “Melt,” rather fittingly to its name, blends together a delightful mess of sounds that build layer after layer upon each other until the track dissolves into a clarinet solo. Other than the intro and outro’s jazz piano scores, “Melt” feels the most melodic, which for some listeners may invoke a longing for more moments like it on the album.

It’s difficult to insist that any subjective experience correlates with the intentions of the artist, but when an experience has such remarkable similarities to the music, maybe doing so is perfectly okay. We all want to find something personal to associate with a piece of music and when we do so it only makes our connection to it that much stronger. The albums we consider classic are often in need of personal significance, but as critics of course the quality can’t be overlooked. And while I don’t feel Chance of Rain is a significant enough piece of music by itself to garner it a classic rating, Halo's evolution as an artist, mixed with the emotional connection I will permanently attach to her music, leads me to believe she has one in her.



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user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2014


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know this review is probably too personal to help others know if they'll find the album as impactful as I did, but I still definitely recommend people check this out.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2014


18465 Comments


listened to this a while ago but it didnt grab me

cool review tho

Digging: Recondite - Caldera/DRGN 2

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2014


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a challenging listen for sure. Deviant would probably do a much better job critiquing it though.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2014


18465 Comments


nah dude this was a damn fine review.

the only thing i dont really like is all the use of first person pronouns, but i come from an english/literature background so its basically been hammered into my head for 3 years that "I" is bad, it works very well here

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2014


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it's something I'm trying to work on. I have a really hard time breaking away from it for some reason though.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this needed a review. far and beyond the best thing she's ever done

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2014


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love tracks like "Thaw" on Quarantine, but overall this is a much more cohesive listen. And her range of styles is impressive to say the least.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

'WOW' on Quarantine is truly beyond but yeah, this is far more cohesive and truly beyond ~ ~. The
title track basically Rainbow Road for raving [or starring into your computer screen at 3am]

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2014


18465 Comments


or starring into your computer screen at 3am


my nights on tape

buy now for 3 separate payments of $9.95

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

A 2TB external hard drive dedicated to nightly webcam footage

Havey
April 11th 2014


9681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5



MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This is the sweetest sounding wax I've bought in a while

Typhoner
April 11th 2014


852 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, this is excellent (like almost everything she does)

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2014


31161 Comments


Nice work dude

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

osmark86
April 11th 2014


4076 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

well defo check this out. nice work YDA.

Digging: Schammasch - Contradiction

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2014


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys

MaskAtTheMasquerade
April 11th 2014


2887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good read Dark! and this album was definitely a favorite from last year.

Phlegm
June 23rd 2014


4625 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:-)

Digging: Croatian Amor - Genitalia Garden

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2014


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh nice, love that this has gotten a review!

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