Review Summary: I think it's October, but I can't be sure...
A Slow Descent, the project of Nash J., is an up-and-coming talent to be reckoned with. With every release, the output is more extensive, more epic in scope, and increasingly experimental. The quality control of each release is astounding, if not impressive. Not only does the best make it onto his albums, but the ideas behind them (like the compositions) aren’t half-hearted at most points; though there are a very select few that are lacking in substance, but are a rarity. With Nash’s third LP, ”A Slow Descent”
, his musical potential is only on the uprise. This time around, the album isn’t focused on a single concept, but several, such as the autumnal season, death, and depression; the main concept being loosely based on “The Road”, a film about the apocalypse.
With the downpour of rain, ”A Slow Descent”
comes to a slow, but quiet start accompanied with a muddled sample from “The Road” on the title track, the first of many samples from the film used on the album. Like any other ASD album, the sound is calm, and quite ambient in nature; this time however, as Nash anticipated, the trademark sound quickly strays away, becoming a drone/electronic gain-driven monster. This was all in Nash’s plans, and was intended to be his most diverse album yet, while maintaining the ASD tradition and aesthetic in the process. Cited by Nash to be “a demented blues track influenced by jazz music”, ”Blues (In Stop Motion)”
has one of the few uses of the bass clarinet to uphold the jazz-influence, the result being a ‘Blue Lambency Downward-sounding’ track that shows the change in ASD’s sound and direction. ”Funerals (The Words of God)"
drones on for a somewhat unnecessary five minutes, but introduces a morbid dirge that is driven by feedback and ominous synthesizers, which continue onward into ”Our Own Little Smoke in a Field of Nothing”
– a short track that brings the moog synthesizer and a powerful overdriven synth into the mix. "EPAT 06C-D KDT"
marks a sharp contrast in sound, introducing a Sunn O)))-influenced interlude to ”The Fire”
that incorporates the guitar-like drone into the electronic, audio sample-ridden mess. The “biggie” of the album, and perhaps the most experimental of the bunch, ”Detached Limbs Can Sing”
brings back the drone of ”EPAT”
, and puts it over a repetitive moog melody that evolves into a synth-driven, electronic clash of noises that are relentless and unforgiving.
”A Slow Descent”
marks a new chapter in Nash J.’s musical project of the same name for several reasons. Most notably is his desire to stray away from the traditional ambient/post-rock sound of earlier albums, toward a drone/post-rock entity. A result of this being the incredibly dense sound compared to the more calm, relieving type of music that was common on Nash’s previous releases, mainly ”Dance With Me Upon His Secret Ocean”
. This change to an abrasive sound and the increasingly experimental output has marked a significant growth in Nash’s ability as a composer, and the quality of A Slow Descent’s releases as well. With every new release, Nash showcases his skill as an up-and-coming composer – true to form, he has proven that he is a musical force that is absolutely worth the investment, never sacrificing quality for versatility. It could be ambient post-rock, techno, or even avant-garde drone metal – the point is that Nash is worth your time and attention, and is well capable of making some of the best music out there, without a doubt.