Side-line Magazine – Chvad SB “Crickets Were the Compass” (2014)

Genre/Influences: Dark-ambient, apocalyptic soundscape.

Content: If Chvad SB doesn’t directly ring a bell; some bands this American artist has been involved in have become quite renowned and established bands. Controlled Bleeding even belongs to the so-called pioneers and references in industrial/experimental music, but Chvad SB got also involved in The Qualia (signed on WTII Records), Tongue Muzzle ao. Chvad SB is a solo-project that has released 2 previous albums.

The dark-ambient and soundscape influences running through the work are quite noticeable elements, which seem to say something about the sources of inspiration. Chvad SB affirms to be influenced by famous names like Lustmord, Coil, The Residents or yet Controlled Bleeding. I can’t say that one of these bands is coming through on this work, but as I already mentioned, there’s a solid dark-ambient input. We’re moving throughout dark, nihilistic spheres, which in a way are quite symbolic for the desperate and cartoon-like cover featuring a desolate landscape filled with ruins, death trees and a lost dog in the middle of this surreal universe.

A dark humming ambiance welcomes the listener to join in for an apocalyptic ride. The tracks remain obscure and accomplished by some spooky effects. A few subtle drones can be heard now and then while other experiments with guitar can be noticed as well. Chvad SB is using a wide arsenal of sounds moving from modular synths to found objects, hand-built instruments, guitar and even the voice. The result is not exactly into ‘classical’ ambient music rather than an abstract approach mixing ambient and experimental music. It might explain the inspiration coming from a band like The Residents although I can’t speak about emulation.

“Crickets Were The Compass” sounds original and creative. Noise waves have been mixed with discrete and subtle bleeps while there also is a kind of cinematographic inspiration.
That’s not of a coincidence as Chvad SB already worked on multiple soundtracks for films.

Conclusion: I like this different dark-ambient approach, which sounds as an interesting alternative to more classical dark-ambient formations. I can only recommend this album for all lovers in the genre.

Best songs: “People Keep Asking And I Say You’re Well”, “It Haunts Her”, “The Dust Cloud Permeates”, “Crickets Were The compass And The World Goes ‘Round”.

Rate: (DP:8)DP.
Band: /
Label: /

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