Darsombra Ecdysis

[At a Loss; 2006]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: instrumental guitar rock, ambient sludge, stoner rock
Others: Jesu, Bardo Pond, Pelican

Guitar-face. An excess of earnestness manifest in orgasmic grimace. The strongest argument for guitar-as-phallus that has been, is, and ever will be. Brian Daniloski's making it in the liner notes of this, his guitar-centric solo debut. The visual's really gratuitous, though — you can smell, taste, touch the guitar-face emanating from your speakers as this album plays.

Darsombra is an ambient instrumental project, and because it's this and not a prog outfit, Daniloski's masturbatory drive exerts itself through tone color rather than claustrophobic or overwrought cockprances through various scales. As in Robert Fripp's minor solo guitar works, soloing is a dangerous proposition here. Menacing, Earth-y sludge? Homeboy's got it on lockdown. Post-industrial surrealist clatter? Tasteful, developed, wish there was more of it. General riffage? A bit too indebted to the post-grunge boys club school of rawk (Quicksand, Shiner, etc.), but sufficiently rocking. But when Daniloski polishes his axe and goes to town, he lets fly a string of gaudy note clusters. His taste for cheeseball dungeonmaster effects doesn't help his cause. Where Sunn 0))) write truly disturbing and punishing songs by exercising restraint and patience, Darsombra is never that confident, belaboring already irritating motifs ad infinitum. Remember John Cage's quote about liking to be moved, not pushed? This album fucking shoves us, hard.

1. Thinning the Herd
2. The Place Where There Is No Darkness
3. My House
4. Drag the Carcass
5. Swelter
6. Dies Irae