artist David Graham covers broad experimental musical terrains of drone,
dark ambient, neo classical and harsh industrial, and although this is
the first material I have heard from the project, it seems that this represents
his sixth self-released album.
With first impressions, most pleasing to my ear is the when Requiem channels
a drone/ dark ambient/ neo-classical vein, where on such styled tracks
the music is sparse, yet suitably layered to give off a rather filmic
air. Showing controlled constraint throughout the majority of the compositions,
selected tracks are emotively tinged with strings / piano / guitar (delete
as appropriate), whilst others showcase a certain percussive bombast to
achieve the neo-classical style. Less successful though are harsh industrial
elements that simply jar against the calmer aspects. Whilst the harshness
of ‘Pretentious comfort from false nihilism’ is not
a problem per say, rather my issue is that it utterly decimates the atmospheres
constructed via the preceding tracks.
11 tracks on the main CD are where 76 minutes of diverse material is to
be found, whilst the release additionally contains a 3” CDR. With
a single 20 minute track it opts for a more free-form experimental sound
that does not typically align with the main body of work. To be treated
merely as an added bonus perhaps? The cover is worthy of a mention too,
consisting of a DVD case with a professionally printed cover, and hand
made insert for the 3” CDR.
Overall "Bête noire" might in certain sections reveal
some influences (being somewhat similar in sound to Cold Meat recording
artists Raison D’etre and In Slaughter Natives), yet there is indeed
a decent swag of ideas here and I’m sure with further distillation
and refinement, Requiem will be propelled onto a label of some clout.