Raven (AUS)
The Night Is Dark...


4.0
excellent

Review

by house cat STAFF
November 4th, 2017 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: thirteen o'clock

The Night Is… plays with my perception of time. That’s not to say that it makes it pass quicker when I listen, or even that it removes me from the realm of caring; it’s more to say that I become hyper-aware of the phenomenon. It’s deliberate, I assume – for when Lockstep arrives, it does so as though it’s found itself in a quiet room with only the sound of a grandfather clock’s ticking to guide it into fruition. The record doesn’t begin with Begin and it doesn’t end with End, which seems to immediately illustrate a reshuffling of events, and that time in this world – a jutted, fractured line here as opposed to a straight one – runs against the grain of the time in ours.

Descent should be the conclusion, the final episode, for a number of reasons, but it resolutely is not. Not least for its title, implying denouement and closure, but for its length (it closes in on ten minutes) and its atmosphere. It’s neo-classical music for the twilight zone – brooding and ominous, with buzzsaw growls standing off against delicate violin drones, and for what" The clamour marks no endpoint, instead leading us out into a morning drizzle. Freed from underneath Descent's hulking debris, Vale is a new beginning, taking place in the very middle of proceedings.

But there are constants, despite different backdrops, despite different timezones. The cello and the double-bass patiently and calmly control the soundscapes. The former's drone throughout Infestation is like a door creaking slowly ajar, revealing a cracked and decaying place, overran by flies swarming the open wounds of dead bodies; starved for life, not for irony. But then Copra and Refuge are somehow the liveliest pieces on the record, punctuated by the percussive plucking of the double bass, as strings tangle themselves up in a thicket of noise. And jarring though the transition may be, it works, because in lieu of a singular theme, there's that singular anchor -- the instrumental palette of oaks and blues, painting this record like it's a symphony performed in a library.

Though that’s all I have on this album. I could reinstate that there are moments of menace lodged inside moments of earnestness, or that certain images seem to burn themselves into my retinae as I listen, but the truth is that The Night Is Dark, The Night Is Silent, The Night Is Bright, The Night Is Loud is as disorienting as it is stunning. Nothing here sounds incongruent, but as a whole, it feels so. In its last (or maybe first") breaths, it feels like it’s leading into something, with a looped piano melody that rises and rises up into a cliffhanger. The sequence is one of those rare things that make more sense on its own than it does in the context of the album, but it’s not at a loss for it. It’s strangely poignant, implying that this is an album for any hour of the day -- as it discards all of them. With this little record, the night feels right. It’s just past twelve now, but here, in my room, where the shutters are drawn and the only light is the harsh glow of this screen, I am wide awake.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
verdant
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2017


2187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

colon right bracket

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2017


1445 Comments


I'm spooked solid
Good review

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ianblxdsoe
November 4th 2017


1865 Comments


wow really great review my man, would love to see you or someone else elaborate on the concept of “music in/as different time zones”, phenomenal conclusion as well my man. keep that grind goin 😤

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Divaman
November 4th 2017


2323 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Looks interesting. Nice job, Jack.

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verdant
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2017


2187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

respect, all

ChoccyPhilly
November 4th 2017


11765 Comments


sounds interesting, will check this out

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ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2017


2338 Comments


can't tell if you are saying if this album is fractured, sound, both, or neither, and whats even more impressive is that i cant tell whether your review was, as a result, a success or not

irrespective, this was an entrancing read. im gonna say ill check this out like i do on most reviews i comment on but chances are i wont due to some illegitimate reason like "i left the oven on"

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2017


11470 Comments


Great review jack, I'm pretty intrigued by this, I'll give it a sampling in a bit. Also are you missing "dark" in the album title right at the beginning?

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verdant
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2017


2187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"irrespective"



jac: :screm:



thanks scuro, i left it like that because the full title is much much longer and states that "the night" is many many things, so it's a kind of stand-in title.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2017


11470 Comments


Oh I see, whoops

BlushfulHippocrene
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2017


2396 Comments


Great review, Jack, feels very restrained, actually. That is, in a good way. Pretty sure I've listened to this, but I'll give it another spin sometime.

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Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
November 5th 2017


22029 Comments


jack trip with me if you really wanna lose perception of time ~

great review though, agreed with Blush the tone is pretty restrained and almost brooding, which I assume matches the album's feel. good shit

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Chortles
November 6th 2017


21191 Comments


Wonderful analysis Jack, this describes so much with so little. V impressive. Love the imagery as well (especially in the 3rd Para). Neg



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