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Semai - Delubrum [Le Crépuscule Du Soir - 2011]

Semai is a Czech dark ambient/sludge/black metal-ish  one-man band active since 2004. After a handful of demos, singles and splits, "Delubrum" is his first full length.

The album starts with a disquieting mix of slow and creepy piano drops and mellow static noise, slowly building up to a filthy sludge crescendo. Heavily distorted, dooms bass and drum programming slowly creep in the mass of  noise, leaving a trail of feedback and a depressive atmosphere behind. The track's intensity goes up and down like a rollercoaster, creating an interesting and enthralling flow. Track number two sounds like a reprise of the first one, with more digital crunchy static noise surmounted by massive sludge bass drones, barbaric and basic percussion, synth tones, noisy loops  and epic horror piano bashing. The addition of religious chants, while being extremely predictable, fits pretty well with the overall mood of this work.

The layering of sounds, the panning and the composition are quite good and well organized, and Semai manages to avoid the risk of creating an overly elongated black metal intro through the skillful placement of his instruments. The filthy, noisy grain of his bass and digital static elements are never pushed too far, maintaining an aura of restrain and unease and holding together the eerie atmosphere of "Delubrum".

I must say I'm quite positively surprised by this album. While it doesn't offer anything new, it works pretty well for what it is. Semai definitely knows what he's looking for and creates a perfectly shaped and focused product. His mix of noise, dark ambient, black metalish-sludge and moody horror piano might sound juvenile and cheesy, but there's no denying that it's effective and well made. "Delubrum" might appeal to fans of noise, dark ambient and black metal alike. I'm definitely up for more!

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Nicola Vinciguerra
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