Berlin-based Benedikt Willnecker has performed on stage as the bassist for Der Weg einer Freiheit and was also bassist and songwriter for Ära Krâ, both of them bands we’ve praised repeatedly at our site, but he has now struck out on his own with a solo instrumental project called Negative Symbols. On November 30, Negative Symbols will release its debut album Without Voices, and we have a full stream of this riveting new release for you today.
The album is a substantial 47 minutes in length, but it’s so engrossing that the pace of time seems to change as you listen, passing in a flash or perhaps even standing still. Stripped of vocals and lyrics, it evokes direct emotional responses in an interplay between the changing moods of the music and the experiences that have shaped where you live in your own head.
Negative Symbols embraces some of the core instrumental elements of black metal, with jet-speed blast-beats and pulsating bass lines as the main percussive engines and with racing tremolo riffs edged with distortion filling the senses like enveloping storms. The layered guitar melodies are equally intense and piercingly vibrant, with the lead guitar reaching into the stratosphere with a high, searing tone.
Yet as emotionally intense as the music usually is, it’s also dreamlike and beautiful, in passages when the guitar melodies become crystalline and ethereal, reverberating and shimmering in almost mystical reveries.
The emotional resonance of the music changes, both between songs and within songs, with sensations that range from bright buoyancy to aching wistfulness, from heart-swelling resilience to poignant melancholy, from boiling tension and anguish to contemplative self-reflection.
Negative Symbols also provides interludes that contrast with the driving intensity and surging vitality that’s present in most of the album’s minutes. For example, the fourth track is a layered acoustic guitar performance, with a beautiful folk-influenced melody that provides one of those wistful, poignant times of reflection. The sixth track includes the slow, haunting sounds of a Rhodes piano (which also briefly appears elsewhere) as well as a jazz-influenced bass-and-guitar segment.
Other moments of relative calm are dotted across the landscape of Without Voices, but in the main this is an album that’s bursting with energy and passion — and it’s so well-conceived and well-performed that its emotional intensity is contagious.
Without Voices will be released on CD and digitally. Check these links today for further release details, including pre-order information:
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