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Hidden Persuaders - Elegies and Curses [A Giant Fern - 2015]

A Giant Fern presents Elegies and Curses, the latest offering from Hidden Persuaders. Released in 2015 on limited edition cassette, it appears to have gone the way of the dodo bird. However, the curious can still find it streamable on the labelís bandcamp site. This is my first dance with Hidden Persuaders, but low and behold I see that this is another one of Andreas Brandalís many projects. Iíve been quite a fan of the solo work he has published, including works under the Flesh Coffin and Avmakt monikers. Each project has its own distinct sound. From eerie synth to static noise, Brandal has managed to toil in nearly every permutation of ďexperimentalĒ music. Hidden Pleasures is no different. On this project Brandal is accompanied by percussionist BÝrre Myklebust (who is also a collaborator in Uvesen).

Elegies and Curses unfolds like a series of funeral dirges, focused and bleakÖ.ritualistic death marches carrying fallen souls from earth to the darkest realms of Hades. Plodding drums collide in measured beats, while rubbery bass lines and fuzzed guitar gallop toil in their own caucophony. Thereís definitely nods to blackened drone, metal, and sludge, however the recording sounds leaner...punkier at times. It builds atmospheric dread, not with overt heaviosity, but with striking just the right eerie tones. There are also some synth and noise elements used to great effect, especially the sounds of broken glass. Thatís somewhat of a rough sketch of the first 5 cuts. Itís the albumís final track, ďA Region of Ultimate Alternatives,Ē where all fucking hell breaks loose. The track unfolds sounding like a piece machinery forged from hell. Arrghhh!!!

Despite sounding quite different than any other Brandal effort Iíve encountered, this distinctly still has some very familiar Brandal fingerprints on it. Itís certainly as enthralling as anything this artist has done to date. Highly recommended!

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

Hal Harmon
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