Thursday, July 14, 2016

Helen Money : "Become Zero"

This is the solo project of cellist Alison Chesley. Chesley is not stranger to metal, so even though you will be surprised when she steps on the gain, you should be considering she has played with Russian Circles , Anthrax, Agalloch  Jarboe and Shellac.  Even with me giving you this heads up, You won't expect the more metallic turn the cello takes on the first and even when you are more prepared for it on the second song it is still impressive. A more droning and experimental approach is taken on the more post-rock like swathe of sound called "Radiate". The cello collides against a piano with the stark "Blood and Bone" . It is not unlike the work of Philip Glass, except there is none of the hypnotic drone. The cello is allowed to wander about more morose melodies. "Vanished Star" feels like chamber music for a ward treating major depression. Once again Philip Glass comes to mind, this time his sounds track to the movie "the Hours".

There is some sound manipulation to some of the trippy sonics played with on "Machine" it is a much more tender piece that brings a contrast to the heavier pound of the ominous "Leviathan". The more black metal like tremolo effect achieved here is pretty impressive and brings to mind Russian Circles last album. The Drummer from Neurosis & Sleep plays on this album, so the more tribal elements to this song make sense. More atmosphere swells out of "Facing the Sun" though the distortion doesn't wait too long, yet it never gain the thundering climax that it would if this was an actual metal project rather than a project influenced by metal. Either way the results are more often than not gorgeous and this is dark enough to hold my attention. I'll give this album an 8.5. I like the mood it creates, but it is not something I need in my iPod for daily listening. Having an appreciate for classical music certainly helps going into this album, but is not a requirement if you have an open enough mind. Fans of post-rock and more atmospheric sides of heavy music will find the most to sink their teeth into.

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