Allseits – Chimare


[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

In Clive Barker’s ‘Weaveworld’, the final segment of the book deals with the locating and then awakening of a hideous creature named The Scourge. Across vast wastelands the vengeful seek out this being, crossing endless open plains of nothingness. The wind whips, whirls and tears at them; to the very marrow of their bones they are tormented by the elements until at last they arrive at their destination: a barren sea of sand out of which a sheer rock wall rises with numerous jagged boulders jutting out, daring them to cross that final abeyance which separates them from their goal. Of course, once they muster the object of their efforts it demonstrates why it is named as it is. The journey getting to this point has been herculean but it pales in comparison to the awesome scale of devastation which The Scourge longs to unleash upon the world.

This second record by Allseits could very easily serve as the score to everything above which I have related. The atmosphere is an angry one on “Chimare” and it makes her previous album ‘Hel’ seem kindly, which is remarkable. Gone are the cavernous, smoothly executed tracks of that record; they have been replaced by chaotic outbursts of what sounds like it may have been a guitar at some point. The pounding percussion is another brilliant touch to the proceedings, with relentless repetition they carve out the dimensions of woeful places under baleful skies where the only connection to humanity is the knowledge that everything will outlast even the mightiest deeds we can author. Mile after mile after mile of unrelentingly harsh conditions accompany one’s voyage through “October”, a piece which lumbers along crushing whole civilizations under it’s feet without knowing they’re even there.

Plenty of glorious drone is also to be partaken of on ‘Chimare’ with intersecting layers of feedback punctuating the grinding, gnawing frontier quite effectively. But even at it’s most tranquil points let me remind the listener that this is a symphony wrought out of mayhem. Within the continual loops of ambient textures you’ll hear what can only be the wretched, acrid tone of malice in a highly refined form. Are there reasons for it to be so burnished, perhaps our composer had some place or somebody in mind when she coaxed them out of her machinery but we do not know. All we have to go on are these six vicious compositions. Allseits rival In Slaughter Natives in the field of acrimonious spite being captured on disc, unlike him though her brand of it comes across as a more meditative, lingering vintage.

Weighing up the evidence, culling truths from a realm riddled with lies; she balances those scales without remorse, taking in all aspects of both fact and fiction to deliver this riveting verdict which I’ve been listening to now almost non-stop. Every granule is examined beneath the unforgiving glare of ‘Chimare’, there’s nowhere to run to and nothing is left to hide beneath or within; these entries cut deep, through every possible defense a person’s psyche could hope to conjure. The raw honesty of what has been put together by Allseits demands that we do our part and allow it to unfold and develop all of it’s facets no matter the outcome; Nina Kernicke patiently wove everything together, her music becoming a golden thread circling around and around until we are bound up and intwined by machinations we can sense but not see.

It is a gorgeous view to imbibe. Here in such wild, remote and unkempt surroundings madness doesn’t seem so mad.

Argue as you wish over the meaning of this but for me the six years spent waiting for her to give us new material has been a drop in the ocean when compared to the sorts of places you’d have to let your mind lead you to create these sorts of songs; they are songs, you know, they just aren’t the type meant to mindlessly entertain or win the approval of others. A well thought out collection which allows you to fade into oblivion.

Cyclic Law, 80th Cycle
CD/Digital 2016


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