David Galas "The Cataclysm" CDPosted on Thursday, February 15th, 2007 @ 8:47am » permalink
"The Cataclysm" is the outstanding solo debut from David Galas (on Vendlus Records), perhaps better known for his various stints with renowned darkwave act Lycia in the mid- (and again in the late-) 90's. Galas began working on this album after Lycia called it quits seven years ago (they've since reformed), so the material was carefully crafted over the lengthy span between June of 1999 and November of 2005 – resulting in a whopping 19 tracks and over 70 minutes of music. My exposure to Lycia's discography over the years has been quite limited (in fact the only "Lycia" album I own was actually recorded under the banner of Estraya – which David Galas was not involved with), so I won't bother drawing parallels other than to say that significant elements of this material definitely dwell within that "darkwave" sort of realm. This obviously makes for a very somber, melancholic album built upon a deep, dense resonance that surrounds the bulk of the recording. A thick sense of layering is generally present amidst the consistently slow-paced compositions, where relaxed acoustic/electric strumming hovers over sparse yet warm percussive textures and all sorts of tactfully employed synths – while the well-defined tone of the awesomely plunky basslines allows them to weave seamlessly between the other instruments. And then there's sort of a deep, monotone, almost "plain" vocal style (and I don't mean that negatively) that alternates between restrained singing and a half-spoken delivery – often utilizing various effects to shift (or accent) the vibe. Sweeping currents of restrained dark ambient lulls or texturally droning lead/rhythm guitar work highlights the hypnotic sort of character that the album possesses as a whole. It kind of sucks you into this cozy, laidback framework that has a subtle aggression at work – and one that does occasionally surface within a few heavier and more literally intense passages. I have to admit that 19 tracks/70+ minutes is one hell of a sitting, but – at least to my ears – it's impossible not to appreciate that this is such a unified and thought-out piece of work, and the cohesion between the tracks does help to carry the concept throughout. Very nice.
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