Atmospheric, dark, moody – but not in way it can’t be enjoyed.  There is melody within the walls built by Insect Ark, the project directed by multi-instrumentalist Dana Schechter.  This album, Portal/Well is their debut and it’s an interesting experience.  Heavy – both sonically and with its rhythms – these tracks have an icy quality that manage to not leave you cold while listening.

The opening track, which is also the title cut, is drums and solid basslines with intense throb until about six minutes in when guitar chords crash; “The Collector” is a claustrophobic piece which is fed by what sounds like controlled guitar feedback and then weaves sustained guitar lines in and “Lowlands” is a combination – at least to me – of guitar shards and feedback drone.  “Octavia”, which clocks in at just over eight minutes sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a European horror film, with quivering, resonating guitar notes that sear in and out; “Taalith” is slow, mean and feels like electroshock therapy and “Parallel Twin” has a paranoia about it that it jars you – thus making you feel something; the intensity builds and builds.

Doomy, dirge-y and definitely a mood piece, this is interesting and of another world.

Portal/Well is available now

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About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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