Have you ever played an experimental album for someone who has stayed straight and center when it comes their musical appreciation? A good amount of people have no idea what lurks on the outside edges of music. Try playing a band like Sunn O))), My Bloody Valentine or Fennesz to some who has never ventured outside of radio ready alternative rock. In almost all cases they will hate it (at least in the beginning).
I say this as a compliment that wiles by wiles is one of those albums. At seven songs this album has sprawling long tracks that feel like expansive terrain. The soundscapes are dark, haunting and surrounding. It’s an album that mixes aspects of post-rock, drone metal and other like- minded genres. And while I give some words to explain what is happening this is the type of music that benefits from just being experienced.
“vēl, inside” is an opener which is seventeen-plus-minutes. Within the first minute I was having imagery of disease, the dark ages and a forest filled with fog and wolves. The beginning could easily be the sounds of a horror movie. As it progresses the transitions are seamless. Drums come into the mix along with monotone vocals that sound like a seance. The last five minutes or so is dedicated to dripping distortion and white noise.
“fawn, trembling” is more compact at almost four-minutes long. If an artist like this was ever to have what you might call a single this could be it. Sunn O))) came to mind on this track. “fawn, yawning” puts female vocals in the mix which are placed sporadically. The song moves at a snail's pace but works on many different levels. “house fire” is the most traditional sounding song. There are sections where it sounds like a band instead of a soundscape.
Don’t get used to it because “v” is a ten-minute hellish sounding drone. For comparison’s sake I was reminded somewhat of the score Jonny Greenwood did for the movie There Will Be Blood. There is no levity to be had with “unknown” which takes you further down the pit of fire. He closes with “vēl, outside” which doesn't offer much light in the dark.
Wiles drags you through the muck while you are kicking and screaming and could care less. This music is not for the faint of heart. Highly recommended.
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