Halgrath ‎– Out Of Time

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[Reviewed by Iaha Crax]

It is commonly known that underground musical projects are a male affair, but there are a few female projects that have gained recognition. It’s undoubtedly a chauvinist reaction to consider this feminine injection as a defiling sweetener for such musical genres. In our case, an opera singer from St. Petersburg emerged with an ambient project that released its second album through the renewed Cold Spring. Coincidentally, soon after the label was put to rest; 2012 saw the release of her third album, this time on Cryo Chamber.

At a first glance “Out of Time” slightly changes the register found on Halgrath’s previous recording, “Arise Of Fallen Conception”. The drone side gains in acceptance and tends to set the mark with the first two tracks, “Summoning Of The Goddess” and “Out Of Time”. The title song seems to establish a parallelism with a spectral musical register that has more in common with modern experimentalist composers. It’s truly a graciously designed melody, so subtle in its mannerism that you expect it to disintegrate at any minute. There is a palette of a few frequencies that exchange tonalities and colors through a somewhat hazardous juxtaposition. By this figurative and amorphous application of the sound’s down-tuned tension, the artist manages to suggest incorporeality and thus absence of gravitation. “Down, Here” enhances the familiarity with a neoplasmatic realm, where body and flesh alike are disintegrated. The musician then changes realms and takes us “Deep Underwater”, carrying the soul into a watery domain entrapped by siren voices.

“Horoathea Mass Of Aegorath” relies on a feverish blending between classical choir and witching ceremonial music, reminiscent of the now defunct Aghast. Quite distinguished from the previous tracks, it carries a heavy mystical feeling of deep devotion. Agratha Mirrait, for this is the musician’s artistic identity, forges even macabre territories making you realize the grasp of her extended musical range. “Lethal Injection” is written with the pen of a psychiatrist and resides more on irritating noise echoes and field recording manipulations that can severely annoy the hearing.

With “Follow Eternity” the melody radically shifts to an electronic rewriting of a post-rock sound reminiscent of bands like Mono, due to the listener’s immediate fascination by the beautiful tremolo finding its way directly to your soul. An absorbing track, entangling hearing and mind in a spiderweb of peaceful and kind sonorities.

As mentioned before, the artist sacrifices a certain coherence in the record for the possibility of playing with many sonorities. With every track the musical register is reshaped with a vivid desire to produce new sound valences; this may be cause for irritability to some listeners. “The Resistance” goes into a noisy, scratching tonality, while “Dark Dusty Corner” regains that spectral, sensational aspect of musicality, this time structured on some very incongruent abrasive tones. Then “He Led Me Through The Dark Caverns” is an uncommon dark industrial and neoclassical mélange that can surely provoke bizarre reactions. “We’ll Go Through Sorrow, Holding Each Others Hands” moves in the same register, alternating a strange noisy tremolo with a piano tune, while “The Light Of The Earth’s Spheres” returns to a more unpretentious ambient sound.

Agratha Mirrait offers a collection of her visions, bringing different themes and moods into a sole volume of music. Differences in tonalities and images originate from a particular reaction to one motif or the other: she takes us through magic, dream and madness, but also fear, solitude or depression. A volume of musical poems which should easily find a precious place on your CD shelf.

Halgrath ‎– Out Of Time
Cryo Chamber
Digital, 24 bit, 2012

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