All Will Change
posted on 3/2008 By:
Here’s something a little different. Hailing from Scotland, Achenar is the one-man project of Duncan Hemingway, and is a bizarre concoction of industrial, electronic and ambient sounds with sinister vocals on top. This isn’t easy listening by any means, but All Will Change has been meticulously crafted to be listened to as one big dramatic piece, rather than individual songs. No one track sounds like any other, and that is both frustrating and rewarding at the same time. This is an ambitious work for sure, but the creativity, and variety of atmospheres and sounds warrants at least a few listens, if only to digest the thing properly. All Will Change may not be metal, but it sure is extreme.
As mentioned before there isn’t a lot of uniformity to the songs on this album, as each track has an individual approach with regards to sonic textures and mood. “Survive Yourself” is mainly comprised of what sounds like an old horror film score, complete with strings and orchestral percussion. The vocals are perhaps the only aspect that would work in a metal context, covering as they do sinister whispers, ominous bellowing and even some death/doom growls toward the end. Then there’s the industrialized assault of “The Suicide of Giants”, which comes across a bit like Aphex Twin with its hard beats, noisy samples and heavily distorted vocals. It sounds like dance music that’s been butchered to death then further mutilated post-mortem.
Other songs of note include the bizarre “Verify Me” which sounds like a demented version of the Pink Panther theme with deep, crooning vocals on top, and both “Re-Enervate” and “Let Us Help You”, which are the most extreme tracks sonically. The angry vocals, grinding beats and layers of noise are particularly satisfying, and there are even shards of metal guitar dropped in as well. The brutality of these tracks are balanced out nicely by ambient, vocal-less tracks like “Not to Speak” and “1+0=10”, giving All Will Change a well-rounded sense of dynamics and diversity.
I don’t leave a huge amount of space in my music library for non-metal albums but I got a fair bit out of listening to Achenar. This is an impressively-constructed effort and I dare say an original one. There is plenty of extremity to be found on All Will Change, but even in its sparsest moments, there is a very sinister atmosphere pervading the album, keeping you on edge for its entire running time. This is twisted stuff indeed, yet strangely palatable. Nice work, Mr Hemingway.
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