The Haunted House

Monday, March 24, 2008

Distant Horizon Review in Regen Magazine.

I have had another album review, this time in Regen Magazine. The album got 3 out of 5, so not too bad, as this magazine is notoriously harsh sometimes :-) All in all I got some pretty good constructive feedback. He makes some interesting points, and asks whether my desire to use experimental sound sources, yet keeping the album reasonably commercial sounding was deliberate or not. Well, in fact it was deliberate. I really like experimental music, but sometimes I find it drones on far too much to keep my interest. That is why I have tried to strike up a balance between the two. The complete review text is below.

Atmospheric, melodically driven industrial using experimental sound sources.

UK-based electronic musician Steve Haunts uses an array of sounds including those of circuit bent instruments to create atmospheric EBM with the end result being that you wouldn't necessarily think these were experimental instruments. Creature does a great job of making odd sounds become warm almost commercial sounding to the point that you can't tell if it's some obscure bent instrument or if it's really a Roland keyboard patch. Much of the music on Distant Horizon recalls more instrumental works of X-Marks the Pedwalk's later works like MeshworkDrawback. Cinematic pads and strings introduced the tracks with various industrial/EBM styled drum patterns and elements carrying the song.

The real focus on Distant Horizon is the melodies that act as the main characters of each song from synth piano choruses to sinister synthesizer arpeggios. One of the highlights to hear on Distant Horizon is "Tenge Misuser," which sounds like an updated version of Giorgio Morodor's Cat People soundtrack, complete with dark synth sweeps and analog sounding synthesizer leads. While the album makes a great score for some type of sci-fi film or even a first person shooter game, the only criticism is that parts of Distant Horizon sound like soundtrack wallpaper and Mr. Haunts could focus on being a bit more experimental instead of sounding so mechanical and precise. Whether it is intentional or not is up to the creative mind of Creature.

However, if he would just let go a little bit and put in some more abstract elements, it would greatly complement his sound and style and give it a more unique feel. The strength that this album shows is that it will appeal to fans of both industrial and techno as this record really blurs the lines between dark electronics and sophisticated techno grooves, with the end result sounding part Gary Numan and part Future Sound of London.



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