Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 1/1/2006
Pieces of I
posted on 2/2006 By:
For the most part, Pieces of I isn’t all that different from My Blood, My Tears. Musically these demos are very similar, while this time around the packaging shouts “professional release” from the highest of rooftops. The slimline case has been dropped in favor of a jewel case, the liner notes fully explain the concept behind Altere, and the artwork is nothing short of well-done. These four dirges are lonely and mournful – like their ancestors – though they’re still the product of a solitary Pawel Goj, who recorded his sadness and frustration for the entire world to hear.
It’s easy to be misled, if you aren’t aware of the Polish-American’s self-imposed restrictions. Altere is, by definition, “an emotional outburst of emotion. In a moment of pain, anger, sadness, in under one hour or less a song is created and fully edited,” Goj continues, “completely improvised with no lyrical content except for what the heart speaks at the moment. The most complete and closest translation of an emotion into musical notes occurs.”* Pieces of I has four songs, collectively running upwards of 15 minutes. The introductory number – “I Murdered My Soul” – traverses familiar territory, boasting plenty of guitar-driven lamenting. Goj’s hushed vocals are interweaved with the instrumentation, but sometimes he proves he’s not afraid to occupy the spotlight. “Everything Falls Apart in Threes” begins with waves crashing, which is then supplemented by the pitter-patter of nimble fingers on the neck of a guitarra. The ocean reappears on “Pieces of I: A Five Part Opus (Serenity, Rejection, Confusion, Happiness, Anger.)” and the piano works wonders, just as it did in the former opus. On the whole, the title track houses the weakest vocal performance along with some muddled transitions, and isn’t up to par with “I’m Sorry.” The closer sees Goj front his outfit admirably, and for me Pieces of I musters images of someone contemplating a heartbreaking issue in a light rain, under a gray sky. Water and Altere go together well, and I hear a pinch of Agalloch and Katatonia. Goj isn’t an epigone, though, as his operating method and overall sound distance him from the crowd.
While this isn’t a far departure for the guy, musically, the packaging does make Pieces of I seem more like an EP than a demo. Nonetheless, I’m torn about whether I want Goj to discard his M.O. On the one hand, I think it’s brave experimentation. On the other hand, I foresee the haters claiming that it’s a gimmick, crutch, or excuse to hide his lack of talent. He’s got talent, though. And I, for one, am interested to see how he utilizes it in the future.
*I believe it’s adventurous and unique to actually record extemporaneous musings for public (dis)approval, though I doubt any record company would be willing to back such a project. If Goj wants a record deal in the traditional sense, then I think he should shoot for a small label that isn’t averse to taking risks, making little to no profit in the process. He might even want to form his own label. Or toil in the unsigned underground for a while longer.
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