Gog – Ironworks

Well, it’s not very often that I get a chance to review albums like this; Although if you had to label this band you’d probably put them in the camp of noise/drone music, don’t let that put you off, or even turn you on. There’s something really quite unique about this band, although it did take me a long while to put my finger on what is so original about them. You see, what sets this band apart from their contemporaries, like Sunno))) or Gnaw Their Tongues, is their strangely enveloping elements of melancholy;usually with bands like this the music can be quite abrasive and difficult to listen to, but with this record you can quite easily drift away into a sad daydream (the inclusion of the minimal yet subtly doleful piano was a masterstroke).

The relevance of the album title is quite plain to see, lots of big crashing sounds and wind-like effects give the image of ghostly factories and miserable dilapidation; it is surely a rare find when a record can bring such detailed imagery forth with relative ease. This is what really made me enjoy this album, the fact that although it’s almost background music, once you’re drawn in there is no escape: It will upset you and there’s nothing you can do about it, so you might as well just get comfortable with your own despondency.

There are quite a few post-rock undertones here in the vein of Godspeed You! Black Emperor or A Silver Mt Zion, so if you’re a fan of either of those bands you’ll probably enjoy this too. These influences are mainly apparent in the structureless format of the songs, as from start to finish they’re just one long journey in which you’ll never quite know what is going on or what to expect next. I suggest you sit in a dark room and listen to this on headphones all the way through with no disturbances, perhaps even put a film like ‘Begotten’ or something like that in the background if you’re feeling particularly masochistic. Trust me on that one.

So, to summarize: You really need to try this out. Even if you think it’s the biggest pile of shit in the world, it will definitely be an experience for you. I doubt you will have anything bad to say about this record if you’ve read this far into the review and didn’t just leave at the words ‘noise/drone’. Interesting, emotionally evocative and at some points pretty fucking horrible, this is one thing you owe it to yourself to experience.

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