Mon 21st May 2018
夢遊病者 return, thankfully quickly, their debut still fresh in the mind, still revealing secrets each time play is pressed. The international band of whom little is known, whose name translates as Sleepwalker, are a wildly creative bunch, erratic in their inputs yet a rare ability to manage the whole so as not to be a free-form mess. They continue the standard; the debut was astounding, 一期一会 is possibly even better.
The first couple of tracks are haunting, yet airy, the agitated black metal industrialism of the debut not apparent. Sitting for the Road could be the movements of ghosts through vast empty halls. The musicality that exists beneath this veil feels psychedelic, ragga, tribal... the exotic allied to the mysterious. If Return - A Mirror Glance feels light jazz, the same phantom wraith vocals, uneven tempos, asymmetrical rhythms. It is constantly busy but coherent.
The first sign of any metal comes with Never Through a Threshold, yet any thought that this might distract from the maniacal textures is way off, it is wonderfully distracting with layers of varying instruments, notably full pelt drums, and experimental-end black metal thrill. No Premature Celebrations retains the mood, lurking in the fog shrouded swamps of black metal bleakness, Oranssi Pazuzu's rawest edges, settling to an uneasy quiet impasse, a base only for strange outshoots of noise to spread their tendrils to fill the void.
It is delving further, the journey now fully collapsed through the surface into hellish regions. Where the album start had a deftness of touch, light eminating, now here, at the beginning of Never Ailments on Oneself, only darkness. There is respite in deep psych passages and drum patterns, but they blasts of pure metal filth return regularly. The contrasts are mindblowing.
No Clinking of Glasses closes, scratches of violin, rushes of guitar, the shriek of vocal muted beneath the multiple layers, a free-jazz approach, instruments breaking out of the crowd at times to lead, before the whirlwind whirrs back. It ends a journey that only their debut can compare to, unsettling, thrilling and fervourishly inventive. You may need a sit down with the lights on the rebase yourself after, but it is worth the imbalance caused, as wonderous things lie within.