Kammarheit – The Nest


[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

There is a profound sadness running through this record. Kammarheit return after a decade with a decidedly downcast offering, one which will no doubt please the fans but continue to puzzle others. There is no anger here nor is anything burning with spite but what you will hear is a reflective approach that seems to be gazing back over time; when a person thinks of what a nest can be they usually find it a place of safety and comfort. This nest, however, is neither of those… it is a suffocating construct designed to force what is hidden to the surface.

This is something which has always run through his work but it hasn’t ever been so up front before; I get some of the claustrophobic tendencies of what was done on the Cities Last Broadcast release but everything is somehow bleaker in tone. A palette of unending greys present themselves and we somehow must pick apart where each one begins and where it’s predecessor fades out. ‘The Nest’ is very much designed to expand from your speakers when you listen, as though whatever is kept imprisoned were determined to spread it’s wings and fly away.

Does the caged bird sing or does it scream.

People like to think they can protect those they love and devote their lives to from all the harm around them but when that line between compassion and obsession is crossed you get an album like this. No matter how hard one tries to prevent injury or ameliorate pain, this world has a way of slipping past your defenses and so we find our composer here raising the drawbridge to seal up his fortified tower. Poe wrote of a similar predicament and it’s conclusion wasn’t kind, take the comparison as you like.

It is a fantastic time to be a Kammarheit fan but don’t think he’s put together something which will go down easily. Like his previous records, there is a theme to be explored but it isn’t a pleasant one and it certainly wasn’t rushed. After all this time, the style of this fellow has been distilled down into a fine resolution. No sudden jolts, no cascading percussion; only the lingering sting of loss. What kind I couldn’t say but he’s been through something, something which has made his music even more desolate. The isolation is staggering in scale.

KammarheitThe Nest
Cyclic Law, 78th Cycle
CD 2015

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