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Kalmukia Review

by Ned Raggett

The partnership of Ilpo Väisänen and Dirk Dresselhaus continues on the band's third album with the addition of Hildur Guðnadóttir, but Kalmukia, while atmospheric, is not Angel at their best. The four extremely dank-sounding pieces on the album certainly have an accomplished feeling to them -- the principals having worked in bands that know their way around experimental electronics and avant-garde work, one would expect no less. But this is an album better to admire for some of its individual elements rather than to regard as a uniquely compelling listen. Thus, the start of the album, with the beginning of "Bones in the Sand" sounding reminiscent of Earth's deliberately spare Western/doom metal sound in recent years, is certainly compelling, as is the gentle glam shimmer that concludes the album. Yet it doesn't seem like the type of album to reward repeated listenings -- more's the pity.

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