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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Vidna Obmana & Serge Devadder - The Shape Of Solitude [Zoharum - 2020]

The Shape Of Solitude severs up eight examples of moodily gloomy-to-cold sound-scaping, which blends ambience with atmospheric guitar-scaping. Originally released back 1999 on Sweden’s Multimood Records- here on Zoharum is a 2020 reissue of this collaboration- featuring a new remastering & new artwork.

The CD comes presented in a mood & title fitting six-panel digipak, that features blurred & shadowy monochrome photo art. The album was remixed summer last year by Dirk Serries- the mind behind Vida Obmana, and this makes the whole thing sonically glow in such grimly abstract manner.

Even if you only dipped your toe in European ambient/  post-industrial music I’m sure you’ll know the Vidna Obmana name- this Belgian project started in the mid-1980s, and ran until 2009- when Serries hung up the name moving to focus more on the improv/ modern composition side of things. Serge Devadder is also from Belgium with his ambient sound-scaping releases dating back to the early ’90s.

The eight tracks here each run between three and fourteen minutes- with a total release runtime of fifty-five minutes. With Vidna Obmana handing atmospheres, loops, effects, recyclings, abstracted enchantments, and harmonic guitars on one track. And Serge Devadder on electric guitars.

The album starts out with one of the colder /more uneasy tracks “When A Dead Tree Sings” which finds chillingly controlled & stark guitar tones moving against lightly baying 'n' troubled ambient swirls.  By “The Plain Truth” things have turned decidedly haunted & a little nervy- as we find eerier guitar texturing darting & swing across lightly cavernous mood-scaping.  The longest track here sits in the middle of the album & is entitled “A Stringing Memory Of Shared Skin”- it goes from blunt & compressed guitar sweeps, though to eerie winding &  baying ambience. With the album been topped off with coldly glimmering-yet-waveringly harmonic drifts and ebbs of “Leaving This Place Again”

If you enjoy your ambience both uneasy & abstract I’d say you’ll be wanting to pick up The Shape Of Solitude. The release is part of a series of Vidna Obmana reissues put out  by respected Polish label Zoharum, so if you enjoy this there is much more material to investigate.

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

Roger Batty
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