THIS IS WHERE – This Is Where

Hallow Ground

I’ll promptly admit that, until today, my knowledge of the members of This Is Where was limited to Norman Westberg (who, on this very label, released the brilliant The All Most Quiet in 2016), whereas guitarist Lynn Wright and bassist Algis Kizys are met here for the first time.

This album has saved the day. No, make that several days. You know, a reviewer goes across spells where anything heard amounts to nothing, for a reason or another. After various promos that left me completely indifferent, this one – a vinyl edition – presented characteristics that were impossible to ignore, for they exuded a depth of research and a yearning for the unusual that were sorely missing from the rest of the recent candidates.

Not to mention the “fellow guitarist” factor, for this writer is perennially willing to discover new forms of axe-related acoustic morphology. The four tracks of This Is Where are rather outstanding in that regard: their length ranging from 8 to 11 minutes, they do leave space for rumination (or, if you will, annihilation) in between innumerable transformations of the textural palette. Westberg, Wright and Kizys skilfully homogenize the peculiarities of their instrumental assets to float, oscillate and spin around our heads, occasionally pointing to the third eye in the “cosmically murmuring” sections.

Still, this music is ever-changing, unquiet at the core. Baffling palpitations may be escorted by a glowing arpeggio subjected to a chain of infinite repeats; acute feedback turning into growling brutality, then suddenly fading to a baritone whale song. Sometimes the headphones seem unable to contain the massiveness of the adjoining frequencies; a moment later, we imagine a choir of raggedy angels atonally singing amidst heartrending volume pedal swells.

And so the grey morning elapses, your host waiting for the inevitable afternoon storms that, with Swiss precision, have been plaguing the area since last spring or so. Being encircled by these molten matters helps erasing the visual memories of the intersecting chemtrails.

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