Sunday 6 June 2021

The Owl - Beyond The Vastness Of Infinity

Labels: Self-Released

Formats - CD (hopefully)/Digital

Release Date: 02 Jul 2021


1. Paracosmic Expansion

2. Luminous Stellar Explosions

3. Transcending New Heights

4. Hymn For Laniakea

5. Pōwehi

I've spent part of this morning putting together a small review schedule for the coming week, which will hopefully grow a bit bigger in time for my up-coming week off in mid-June. Also, I'm due to have my first Covid jab next Saturday, so depending on side-effects I might not be heading out as much, which should give me more time to write. It's time to focus on the task in hand through and this soon-to-be-released record from the ever-prolific noisemaker The Owl. Beyond The Vastness of Infinity will be self-released by The Owl in July and it continues the momentum built by previous releases Odyssey One, Hibernation and Further Into The Vastness. This time you're treated to five live and improvisational bass jams with the entity's usual layered effects and drone/doom forays. 

Starting with a spoken word sample featuring Alan Watts, it doesn’t take you long to realise what mood The Owl is trying to portray here. ‘Paracosmic Expansion’ is a simple yet mind-expanding opener thanks to that sampled speech and your senses are indeed awoken by the rumbling bass, and subtle ambience present.

From there you’re immediately shocked into life by ‘Luminous Stellar Explosions’, which is where the improvised bass really takes over. Encased in white-noise/feedback that buzzes alongside it, the hypnotic elements of the song begin to open up. When that noise dissipates later on, you’re left feeling calmer though noisier heights are just around the corner and sure enough, the loud/quiet/loud dynamic comes full-circle and the volume level increases. It’s worth noting that there is no percussion on this release (I hope that’s correct), so any rhythms that can be heard come directly from the bass.

Momentum continues to be strong on this release because each song flows Into the next without a pause. ‘Transcending New Heights’ is the longest song here at over nine minutes; however, compared to ‘Luminous Stellar Explosions’ before it, it’s a lot calmer and meditative. Once again low rumbling bass is the backbone and branching off it is very subtle, sometimes distant melody. Not even my neighbour (annoyingly) drilling or planing in their flat can detract from my listening pleasure.

Penultimate song ‘Hymn Of Laniakea’ begins very quietly indeed before bursting into life with another shock of crashing bass guitar. You can hear the live sound of this release more clearly here than anywhere else and it definitely adds to the album’s organic charm and feel. We all have creativity within us, but some people are better at using it than others. The Owl’s productivity and vision is a prime example of that (now, will there ever be a full collaborative release with Oathbreaker I wonder?!).

Finally, album closer Pōwehi is a throbbing, rhythmic beast that’s filled with short waves of sound that increase and decrease in very quick succession, leading to a low-end collage of maddening sounds, glitches and just generally hellish bass. This album for me sits in between both the light/ambient and harsh noise ends of the genre spectrum, so if you’re new to this type of music then hopefully you’ll find this to be a good route in. The balance of both of those dynamics make it a really enjoyable listen.

Keep you eyes peeled for news on the release of Beyond The Vastness Of Infinity via The Owl's social media page here -

Also, make sure you go to The Owl's bandcamp page, where you can listen to all of the band's releases to date and new ones as they are released -

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