Release DetailsLABEL Cold Meat Industry
RELEASED ON 12/1/2006
The Faded Reveries
posted on 5/2007 By:
The only other form of entertainment I’ve sought out that truly rivals my never-ending appetite for metal, is horror cinema. Those of us who watch all the horror flicks we can get our hands on are already well aware of how effective the music can be if it enhances the visual experience. Likewise, recording projects who treat their albums more like soundtracks for horror movies not yet made often end up very hit or miss, usually miss. Although Cold Meat Industry bands usually end up raked over the coals on this site, it was I who was dragged over the burning cinders by Foundation Hope’s beautiful and flawed display in ominous melancholy, The Faded Reveries.
Music such as this borders on arrogant, self-absorbed, and just plain silly when manipulated by those with more ego than actual vision and talent to back it up, but when being enveloped by Joep Smaling’s cascading bombardment of voluminous keys, despondent sound effects, and miserably rousing sense of hopeless impending demise, I can’t help but be moved. This is a very accessible album in the sense that it doesn’t sound like something meant to interpret life in another period in time, it sounds very now, or somewhat recent within this generation, and is bereft of overused vampiric goth traits. Virtually devoid of common percussion and traditional song structure, The Faded Reveries is one long, seamlessly assembled series of ten chapters arranged to form a single piece of music to be experienced all at once. This is nothing new, but the division of sullen moods, bizarre and genuinely creepy, minimalist vocal effects helps to convey contrasting feelings of fleeting optimism with poignantly somber resolve, albeit with very little distinction.
There are times where the mood tends to overtake the actual effectiveness of the music itself, and unless you’re totally concentrating on the disc, it tends to fade in the background and pass by with nothing to grab your attention. The absence of vocalization also causes this album to sound a little too continuous, with no peaks or valleys to help distinguish different parts, literally making it sound like one long song with very little to offer as standout moments in arrangement. However, focused repeat listens will reveal nuances with each prolonged measure, like the swirl of a gently moving whirlpool that drags things down to smothering depths, only to let the mood rise just enough to catch an occasional breath before once again pulling the listener down into the murky, roiling waters. The only real problem I have is with the production, as everything sounds entirely too muted as a whole, taking away much of the potential depth of the menacing natural grace the music provided.
Slow, calculated yet very soulful, to highlight a track would be impossible, but when taken with the right frame of mind and proper environment, The Faded Reveries is an enrapturing listen. Smaling’s Foundation Hope is a rare gem that brings enough of an honest, almost direct sort of artistry to the minimalist ambient doom scene that it has piqued my interest in other Cold Meat Industry releases to come. Even if it’s a bit one-trick and occasionally sparse in presence, I found this album to be surprisingly effective overall, and would sound awesome if accompanied by many gripping murder scenes. I wouldn’t hesitate to spend money on this myself after obtaining higher priority albums first, because it makes for an excellent third choice ear-cleanser when taking a break from all those blast beats and breakdowns.
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