Saturday, October 7, 2017

Gothtober - Stoneburner :"the Agony Box"

One half of Ego Likeness, who has also graced Dragon con with this project, though I failed to catch him this year. I think he has been on their State of the Goth scene panel , so that alone means he qualifies for this column. On the first song samples stand in the place of where vocals would normal be the focus is more on the beats and mood than Ego Likeness. This works well enough to keep my attention and vocals are normally what I listen for. This album is a tribute to Frank Herbert's Dune book series which is not horror , though dark for sci-fi. He keeps the spice flowing with the grooves and sometimes chanted vocals. I really like the middle eastern vibe that drives "Tales of the Great Cryptogram". The exotic nature of add a darker tone, like a techno version of Dead Can Dance.

Its time to report to the dance floor on the more techno tempo of "Shishaklis Hooks". It hits that fist pumping dance drone before breaking down into something more ambient. The glitched out vocals going into "Test of Possession" are pretty awesome. The beat that comes in compliments it enough to make the whole thing work.So I am impressed by the first minute , but can it hold my attention for the next three is a better question to ask of it. The answer is it starts to become a blur until the ambiance of the next song breaks things up again. "the Diamond Tattoo" has a odd angular beat that feels like some Oghr would do. This album finds it self at the peak of it's powers when blending the ambiance with a darker more exotic current. 

The groove sweeps you away and eventually leads you down a path to the dance floor. In so doing it relegates it's self for being background music. It ends with a more cinematic tone, which is cool, but the album third act is more background music that the kind of groove that demand to be on my iPod. I will give this one an 8.5 as it is strong enough on the front end to make it a solid listen as even the songs that are more soundtrack like are not bad just to draw me in or interest me as much.  However if electronica is your thing then you might be more into this. 

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