Michael Neil - Syzygy (2003)
This album took two years to complete, being started in 2001 but not finished until 2003. Quite an awesome work it is too. ‘New Moon’ uses dark brooding strings and vast drones to conjure up feelings of unease which intensify as we progress through the track. It’s also somewhat eerie as if spectres and a whole host of non-human entities are walking or hovering above the land.
We continue straight through to ‘First Phase’ on the back of more wonderful strings but now the mood is triumphant, evil has been banished and the future is bright. There’s an epic feeling to it all, like the closing credits to some a disaster movie where the survivors emerge to a new day full of promise. The strings are enhanced by some lovely delicate melodies mixing wonderfully with lush synth. The mood changes again as a low rumbling drone gets ‘Half Moon’ underway. A brighter tone is layered over the top, then another along with rather ‘breathy’ pads. The tensions mounts and the sound swells, a vast swirling wind warning of an approaching storm. Once more the feel gradually changes as solitary echoing, almost dripping sounds bring up images of caves. Another very deep drone then emerges- something unwholesome is coming- but that too subsides to be replaced by a lovely ethereal soundscape which sooths and caresses the soul. What a fantastic track, with one spellbinding twist after another.
‘Third Phase’ is soothing but also with a touch of danger. It is as if we have plunged beneath the waves. There are sounds of huge beasts- not your usual whale cries but the utterances of something even bigger. Lovely little piano detail and cello flourishes speak of fish darting this way and that through the fractured sunlight filtered from far above. Suddenly chaos reigns as the piano is attacked and an avalanche of chords cascade over more vast swelling strings. Aggression and beauty at the same time. Wow! ‘Another World’ mixes the familiar with alien sounding effects. Just close your eyes and the images of strange creatures crawling across some far off planet easily come to mind. This is incredibly abstract stuff with all sorts of electronic effects (and even a garbled electric guitar sample) darting this way and that between the speakers. These subside after a couple of minutes and we are left with another vast bass rumble over which gentle piano notes fall, like soft rain from a night sky. Simple but stunningly beautiful.
We finish with ‘Full Moon’. Crystalline tones hang in the air, fading to the far distance. A rapid tinkling but also gentle sequence shimmers over the top. At the same time underlying pads are gaining in power and emotion, swelling all the time, only subsiding near the end as things gradually fade to silence once more. This is an incredible album, my very favourite by Michael, taking over from my previous number one, ‘Cornubia’. (DL) WebSite | Bandcamp
1. New Moon - 05:59
2. First Phase - 05:10
3. Half Moon - 13:49
4. Third Phase - 11:35
5. Another World - 13:45
6. Full Moon - 07:31 Доступно только для пользователей