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Regen Graves - Herbslicht

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 17 / 3 / 2020

Regen Graves - Herbslicht
Label: Pariah Child
Format: CD


Chilling and unique third solo album from Italian multi-instrumentalist Regen Graves, which is finally being released on CD

Another release from the Pariah Child label that you just know is going to be unsettling from the cover image. A cobbled street, lined with cars, so obviously European, the few trees that line the street are devoid of leaves and even though the image is presented in washed-out colour it paints a grim picture. No sign of life is evident. It appears that despite the vehicles the place is deserted and totally unappealing. While the music that is contained within the cover is as mysterious and unsettling as that image the sound is far from unappealing. Regen Graves is an Italian multi-instrumentalist, a founding member of Abysmal Grief, a band well known in Doom Metal circles. It appears that ‘Herbstlicht’ is Graves third ‘solo’ release, it was initially only available on cassette but is now making its debut on CD. The album title means ‘Autumn Light’ in German and with song titles that translate to ‘Empty Streets’, ‘The First Snow’ and ‘Decomposition’ that relate to the striking cover image it’s obvious that ‘Herbstlicht’ is not the go to album to play as you’re getting ready to go out on a Friday night. It is, however, a compelling soundscape which, although given the song titles and cover image suggests a chilling, unsettling journey, is strangely calming; while the listener might well be expecting to be filled with dread while listening to the album the end result, to these ears, was a relaxing journey. While the six tracks threaten to take you to places you think you’d rather not visit it’s one of those journeys that you just have to complete. Predominantly an instrumental piece. there are snatches of unintelligible voices and wordless human sounds, which add an even more mysterious and otherworldly edge to some of the pieces. The synth sounds that inform the pieces on ‘Herbstlicht’ do make for an unsettling atmosphere and the ghostly voices and other unfathomable sounds which weave in and out of each song add to the overall eeriness of the album but there’s still this beauty, this unsettled beauty, that breaks through the darkness to offer comfort. The closing piece, ‘Rote Blätter’ (translation = Red Leaves) is one of the most compelling and affective cuts on ‘Herbstlicht’. The sounds immediately conjure up images of leaves falling in the autumn wind even if the title of the song meant nothing to you. The listener can almost trace a leaf as it falls. The twists and turns it goes through before making contact with the earth is fascinating, and I’m sure that every listener will take something different away after experiencing this track. Having had my worst nightmare set to sounds on a previous Pariah Child release ( Sa Bruxa’s ‘From the Depths’) I eventually found some kind of solace in that album, scary as it was initially. My thoughts that ‘Herbstlicht’ was also going to scare the hell out of me were soon cast aside though; for all its eeriness and ghostly connections Regen Graves has produced a musical journey that although set in darkness has a greater calming effect on the listener than many of these so-called chill-out albums. Next time sleep evades me I’ll turn to ‘Herbstlicht’ ; it’s a rare beast, thought-provoking and soothing at the same time.

Track Listing:-
1 Das Morgengrauen
2 Leere Straßen
3 Der Erste Schnee
4 Besuch
5 Zersetzung
6 Rote Blätter

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