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Old 10-22-2014, 09:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
V8s & 12 Bars
 
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 946
Default Memnon Sa - Citadel (2014)

Memnon Sa - Citadel
Doom / Drone / Post-Rock / Experimental

ATE & HAFF / TENN

MEMNON SA - HECA EMEM RA on Vimeo
Album Stream: http://noisey.vice.com/blog/enter-me...-their-citadel



This album has a strange presence online right now. At first glance it seems like Memnon Sa arose out of thin air, ascending from an obscure name and a few mysterious JPEGs to the front page of VICE's Noisey music blog in a matter of months. Since early in the summer I've been following Memnon Sa's project Citadel, watching it work its way through many big name doom metal blogs, scooping up 9/10 reviews at every stop. August rolls around and an obscure but remarkably well produced amateur music video for one of the album's tracks pops up on Vimeo, the hype builds a bit more, several more reviews roll in calling Citadel a masterpiece. Eventually I learn that Memnon Sa is the brainchild of Misha Hering, a dude from the UK with a solid reputation in the doom metal scene as a studio producer, Memnon Sa is his entrance into the scene as a musician, and he's doing most of it alone.

It's a very rare treat coming across a musician that can build something so massive on their own. After listening to Citadel three times in a row yesterday evening, Memnon Sa effortlessly fits in among my favorite modern solo musicians, a musician like Secede, or even carrying the torch for the legends like Brian Eno or Robert Fripp. Citadel is a monolith of style and composition, monstrously thick in theme and atmosphere. Comprised primarily of crunchy droning guitar riffs, dense synthetic ambience, and distant booming percussion, the formula seems simple but is carried forward with such focus and intent that the final product is a richly layered and complex experience. The imagery is cold and vivid, behind the beautiful subtle guitar melodies you can always hear the environment, the sounds feel like they're echoing among glacial valleys, with the help of a beautiful album cover Memnon Sa paints ancient landscapes with his carefully crafted reverb. If Conan's Blood Eagle was like being trapped in the crucible of a fuming volcano, Memnon Sa's Citadel is a breath of crisp mountain air, standing at the center of a valley watching that volcano spew from a distant vantage point. This is an album for lonely listening, by yourself, headphones in, no eye contact, nothing on your mind but the desire to be taken somewhere else by an expertly produced vivid audio experience.

I am so proud of 2014 right now. No year in recent memory has shown me such a diverse offering of brilliant experimental music. Pharmakon's Bestial Burden was terrifyingly personal, a morbid but brutally honest exploration of the human body. Conan's Blood Eagle was an anomaly of gravity, unimaginably heavy, humid, and impenetrably thick. Flying Lotus' You're Dead! stands confidently as a madly disorienting work of intelligent and complex audio psychedelia. Badbadnotgood's III was a prodigious exploration of the boundaries between jazz and modern electronics, a warm and musically curious stab at their musical peers. And now Memnon Sa stands tall with his debut, the solo project of a doom metal producer that rivals the work of a trained orchestra.

I'm going to be walking away from this year with a handful of albums I imagine I'll be holding closely for the rest of my life.
I strongly recommend this album to any fans of doom metal, drone, post-rock, and experimental music in general.
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