Ingathering of Exiles


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Ingathering of Exiles Review

by Fran├žois Couture

Tucked under the usual recording credits in the booklet of Ingathering of Exiles are these two sentences: "Listen in a dark room at average volume. Your soul might hurt, not your ears." And indeed this collaboration between Tidal and the Jerusalem-based artists Chaos as Shelter (aka Vadim Gusis) and Igor Krutogolov relies on subtle textures and sound evocations instead of harsh noise. Conceived as one continuous suite, the album combines post-industrial drones (treated electric guitar and cymbals?) with a certain essence of Jewish music through the appearance of a plaintive violin in some pieces ("Haskalah" and "Blow!" in particular). Other discernible musical features include bells (or Tibetan bowls?) and voice. The latter is a low male drone that gives the music a dark, almost gothic mood. The whole album sounds like a post-industrial complaint. These drones weep; they tell a story of worlds dreamed and lives lost. The sobs of the violin and the humming voices (like ghosts haunting a deserted battlefield, crying on the stupidity of humankind) conjure up such a powerful form of sadness that the album becomes difficult to bear. And yet, the music exerts a twisted fascination on the listener. Some of the good ideas come back too often -- the album may had more impact had it been 15 minutes shorter -- but as it stands, Ingathering of Exiles delivers a disturbing listen, the kind you will remember for a long time.

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