The Silver Threshold

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The Silver Threshold Review

by Paul Simpson

Married duo Alexander Hacke (Einst├╝rzende Neubauten) and multimedia artist Danielle de Picciotto have been producing events and making music together since the early 2000s. Their albums as hackedepicciotto include meditation soundtracks as well as tense, cinematic soundscapes that incorporate a variety of acoustic instruments (including autoharp, harmonium, and tambura), chanting, spoken poetry, and occasional throat singing. 2020's The Current contained a greater presence of heavy, post-industrial rhythms and doom-filled guitar noise than past outings, and the duo's first album for Mute expands on this dark, captivating development in their sound. Described by the duo as their most symphonic album, The Silver Threshold contains grander string arrangements than their past releases, but it's also richer and more detailed in other ways. The album's overture features chirping birds greeting the dawn, with soft synthesizer pulsations contributing to the surreal atmosphere as the strings rise and engulf the listener. The title track has a wired, hammering machine rhythm, massive bass guitar, dubby effects, and glistening organ, with furious violin and the duo's entrancing vocals completing the casting of the spell. On slower, more spiritual songs like "Evermore," their vocal harmonies sound similar to Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low, and although this duo's aesthetic is far more mystical, they also seem to search for the light in a darkened world and provide some semblance of hope. Much of the album is simply riveting and intense, with songs like "Trebbus" driving deeper into an unnamed, uncharted zone. Without a doubt the most fully realized hackedepicciotto work to date, The Silver Threshold is a mesmerizing portal into the unknown.

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