Michael Wilson aka Act Of Will is a one man project. Retire To The Music Room is his latest release which is a hybrid of many different styles. He mentions artists like Steve Via, Primus, Animals As Leaders and Dream Theater as influences and I can hear all of that in his music.
There is this video my friend showed me that is quite funny. It’s this sort of summer camp for kids who want to learn drums. On the first day they show the master drummer guy give a demonstration and he ends up doing these crazy rhythms and timing which was so much for these kids who didn’t even know what a 4/4 beat was. The expression on the kids’ faces were priceless which had my friend and I laughing for five minutes straight. I have to say listening to this release I was reminded of that clip. I’m a formally trained musician but I can easily imagine someone who isn’t as deep in the weeds as I am or just a casual listener of music might be overwhelmed by the intensity of what’s happening here (at least at first) and not able to grasp it in the same way a musician can. There are albums that came through this website with a similar feel and I often label it as musician’s music and this was that for me. This isn’t all that surprising because the musicians who were influences on Wilson are regarded as some of the most proficient technical musicians to exist.
There are nine tracks and the album starts with “Pandora’ Music Box.” The first twenty seconds or so are some of the quietest moments on the album before the pandemonium starts and things switch up quickly from orchestral strings to blaring guitar solo. It's an amazing collection of instrumentation.
For most of the album there are so many things going on at such at rate that I was having a hard time keeping up. The drums are in an almost constant state of fills it seemed. There might be a measure or two where there is just a simple beat but not much. Suffice it say there is so much happening all the time that words fall short of trying to explain what is happening.
My point in saying all this is that there is a lot to take in and it's best consumed over multiple listens. These are not catchy pop songs. The songs take some investment but there are rewards for those who are willing to explore an album like this.
Emotionally this album is hard to classify. It’s really not the type of music you are going to put on if you are missing someone or just broke up with someone. It might work if you want to have a super intense workout however. There are darker tones, sometimes it's funky but I promise you there will be plenty to listen to. Recommended.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook