(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Tim Call and Ryan Lipynsky under their moniker The Howling Wind.)
Synaesthesia is a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another. And although we may rarely think about it, it permeates the way we think, talk, and write about music.
When we use words like “heavy”, “crushing”, “dark”, etc., we’re drawing on the experience of our other senses in order to describe the musical experience. We talk about how it feels, how it tastes. We wax lyrical about colour and light and shade. We even assign emotion to the faintest of sounds. The language of music incorporates all the senses.
The duo who comprise The Howling Wind have – whether consciously or unconsciously – exploited this idea for years. Each of their albums is crowned with a distinctive colour scheme which serves both to reflect the music contained within and also to set each release apart from the others. From the rust and verdigris palette of Pestilence and Peril, through the cold, stark blues of Into The Cryosphere, up to the crimson occult shades of last year’s Of Babalon, the cover for each album has been both a promise and a warning of things to come.
So when you see the pitiless greys which grace the cover of Vortex you should prepare yourself for a truly bleak and unforgiving experience.