Hollow Worlds Industrial, IDM Comaduster I've never given a 10. For me, 10 out of 10 is the very pinnacle of excellence, a crown at the apex of a particular genre. It makes no difference to me whether that genre is well known, or a crossover of styles guided by the artist's imagination. I pressed play on the simply titled intro 'ma' and sat back. By the end of the track, I knew that I was in uncharted "hybrid" territory. The music is cold, digital, and clinically precise in its delivery. But when it hits you, it's like an icepick to the face. Synthetic drones float under a mesmerizing sea of razor sharp beats and glitched out textures. This level of sonic coherence would be an achievement for anyone... but for a debut album? Unbelievable. For those who are new to the world of Comaduster, here's a quick rundown : Réal Cardinal is the sole member, a professional sound designer for video games. If you've played Mass Effect 2 then you've probably already heard his handiwork. 'Hollow Worlds' has been a long time in the making - Comaduster's last release, the 'Slip Through' EP was released in 2009. But one listen through this debut full length album and you'll surely understand why music this complex takes an eternity to produce. And if the industrial influences weren't obvious enough, he's also done excellent remixes for Aesthetic Perfection and iVardensphere. The title track "Hollow Worlds" starts off with some post-rock guitar ambience, which gently melts into a throbbing digital bassline. It's a slow and graceful track, with wispy yet confident vocals bringing a faint touch of humanity to the synthetic soundscape. There are talking dubstep elements so far evolved from clumsy wubs that they seem perfectly natural in this sonic space. We're led into 'Unfound' with a distant piano intro, resonating with cinematic ambience. The crackles that fade into the very edges of the soundfield might give you goosebumps if you are listening on headphones. And now for my personal favourite track, "Walls". This isn't God out of the machine, in this track they are one and the same - the vocoded intro vocal line is a stunning testament to Comaduster's sound design prowess. The drums seem as though they are from a real kit that has been assimilated by the borg. It's everything - symphonic, post-rock, IDM, dubstep. How is this even possible? But forgetting about the sounds just for a moment, what really strikes me about this track especially is the actual songwriting. Everything is fresh, everything evolves, and everything is inspired. This album is mind numbingly good. It's rare enough for a sound designer to be this accomplished, but to also pen compelling songs, play guitar, cross genre lines with impunity, sing with such emotional gravity? Every track is individually crafted to such an extent that it will take multiple listens to fathom it all. I just came as close as I'll ever get to making love to my ProAc 110 studio monitors. Go straight out and buy it, now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. 550
Brutal Resonance

Comaduster - Hollow Worlds

I've never given a 10.

For me, 10 out of 10 is the very pinnacle of excellence, a crown at the apex of a particular genre. It makes no difference to me whether that genre is well known, or a crossover of styles guided by the artist's imagination.

I pressed play on the simply titled intro 'ma' and sat back. By the end of the track, I knew that I was in uncharted "hybrid" territory. The music is cold, digital, and clinically precise in its delivery. But when it hits you, it's like an icepick to the face. Synthetic drones float under a mesmerizing sea of razor sharp beats and glitched out textures. This level of sonic coherence would be an achievement for anyone... but for a debut album? Unbelievable.

For those who are new to the world of Comaduster, here's a quick rundown : Réal Cardinal is the sole member, a professional sound designer for video games. If you've played Mass Effect 2 then you've probably already heard his handiwork. 'Hollow Worlds' has been a long time in the making - Comaduster's last release, the 'Slip Through' EP was released in 2009. But one listen through this debut full length album and you'll surely understand why music this complex takes an eternity to produce. And if the industrial influences weren't obvious enough, he's also done excellent remixes for Aesthetic Perfection and iVardensphere.

The title track "Hollow Worlds" starts off with some post-rock guitar ambience, which gently melts into a throbbing digital bassline. It's a slow and graceful track, with wispy yet confident vocals bringing a faint touch of humanity to the synthetic soundscape. There are talking dubstep elements so far evolved from clumsy wubs that they seem perfectly natural in this sonic space.

We're led into 'Unfound' with a distant piano intro, resonating with cinematic ambience. The crackles that fade into the very edges of the soundfield might give you goosebumps if you are listening on headphones.

And now for my personal favourite track, "Walls". This isn't God out of the machine, in this track they are one and the same - the vocoded intro vocal line is a stunning testament to Comaduster's sound design prowess. The drums seem as though they are from a real kit that has been assimilated by the borg. It's everything - symphonic, post-rock, IDM, dubstep. How is this even possible? But forgetting about the sounds just for a moment, what really strikes me about this track especially is the actual songwriting. Everything is fresh, everything evolves, and everything is inspired.

This album is mind numbingly good. It's rare enough for a sound designer to be this accomplished, but to also pen compelling songs, play guitar, cross genre lines with impunity, sing with such emotional gravity? Every track is individually crafted to such an extent that it will take multiple listens to fathom it all. I just came as close as I'll ever get to making love to my ProAc 110 studio monitors.

Go straight out and buy it, now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Jun 18 2013

Julian Nichols

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

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