Robe. – Antiquated Silhouettes CDr

14 May 2011 tankakern No Comment

Robe. – Antiquated Silhouettes CDr

Dirgehead Distribution Company

With a sound like equal parts of a transmission from a lost era and odd signal patterns emerging out of the void of space itself, Robe.’s Antiquated Silhouettes is an experience that is constantly evolving and emerging out of a desolate gap in time. These tracks seem to create aural depictions of a complete and desperate sort of emptiness, yet the complexity and depth of the sounds creates a work that prefers to stay sensitive; cold and bleak but never harsh. Opening the album with a sort of simplistic ambience to precursor the despair ahead, Paracelsus is a wispy, somnambulant track. The variation in tone doesn’t really begin until the second track. From there it’s a delicate ride through darkness with only minor points of light to illumine the way.

At times it seems like Robe. is trying to invoke a sort of bygone time, a sort of indefinable nostalgia that moves the heart yet can never seem to be grasped on any sort of intellectual level. Other times Antiquated Silhouettes takes on a cosmic, otherworldly aspect, gracing the listeners’ ears with a sort of celestial brevity that is truly challenging to capture. The sounds here are groaning, dismal, and absolutely tragic. The soundscape is packed with half-heard tones and dying echoes emerging from the mist only to be trapped in the utterly suffocating hollowness. Each track has its own way of offering the listener a glimpse of the unknown.

Isolation starts out strangely brighter, than takes a turn into utter hopelessness and cold hatred. The transition here is nearly seamless and is quite deceiving. Pine Box, the final track on Antiquated Silhouettes, bears a moniker that implies death and takes on the theme in a very reverent, psychedelic sort of way; the thought of death is portrayed as a journey into another realm and not as a dark, spiteful thing. Antiquated Silhouettes is an album that emerges slowly and at its own pace; while patience is required to discover its value, the payoff is worth it in the end.

Composition: ★★★★☆
Sounds: ★★★★½
Production Quality: ★★★★½
Concept: ★★★★½
Packaging: ★★★½☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

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