Kwaidan – Make All The Hell Of Dark Metal Bright | Review

To call the latest from Kwaidan “metal” isn’t very accurate in my opinion. Make All the Hell of Dark Metal Bright does have metal in the title but most of the trademarks of the genre are absent here. What we have instead in an incredibly ambient, somewhat droning album that despite its lack of “metalness” hopefully appeals to the open-minded fans of the genre. Neil Jendon, Mike Weis and Andre Foisy (Locrian) make up the players constructing the layers of sound and space over the album’s six tracks. Even at its most intense, MATHODMB is forty two minutes of relaxing, meditative instrumentals.

The biggest impression left as the album starts with the three part “Three Empty Rooms of Light and Space” is that this is performance art. It’s not straightforward. It’s not obvious. To get the most out of it takes time and contemplation. At times Kwaidan can be quiet and melodic; a mix of instruments and noise at play with each other and soothing ambience. At others, cyclical tribal percussion hypnotizes the listener while guitar, keys and synth carry the shifting moods. From ominous and foreboding to sad and uncelebratory, from the highest peaks to the lowest valleys, from alien landscapes to the majesty of Earth. The tracks blends together seamlessly, especially the leading suite. Pulsing electrobuzz, noisy randomness, mournful guitar, brass, droning synths, piano and all manner of permutations therein are stitched together into one flowing banner of delicate ambience and hypnotic movements. Feel the void on “Space as Support”, the horror sci-fi tone of “Iceberg and its Shadows” and the alien presence of “The Sound of this Bell”.

I will admit my experience with music of this nature is limited but that does not diminish its impact. In fact, it may enhance it as it could very well make a convert out of the like minded. While not overtly engaging, the listener is nonetheless affected by the moods and tone created by Kwaidan. Make All the Hell of Dark Metal Bright serves equally well as background music as for relaxation and focused solitude. It may not be metal but there is plenty of darkness as well as light to be found. You just have to take the time to look, and accept it when you find it.

Matt Hinch 

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Matt Hinch lives an unassuming life on the backroads outside Forest Mills, Ontario, Canada. He packs in as much metal as he possible can amid factory work, raising three daughters with his wife and working the land. In addition to Scratch the Surface Matt also writes for Hellbound, Ghost Cult Magazine, About Heavy Metal and his own blog, Kingdom of Noise.
Keep up with him on Twitter @MetalMatt_KofN.