Blackwolfgoat - Dronolith
Guitarist Darryl Shepard (Hackman, Milligram) steps out on his own here, the second solo drone project under the name Blackwolfgoat. The results are in, and "Dronolith" is a forty minute, six song mini-epic long on the mood and which uses its minimal chords wisely. The line between hypnotic and monotonous is in the ear of the listener, but Shepard builds his sounds slowly; a progression is felt, and there is a sense of the unknown in each track suggesting improvisation.
"Building Buildings" opens things up with simple notes stacking on one another until they fade out as one intricate tapestry. The same structure of opening line, repeated and blended into successive lines, continues throughout, with tracks alternating between clean treble ("Ruane," "Fear of Stars") and distortion ("Tyche," "Event Radius"). For my taste the distorted tracks offer more color and depth.
As expected, the fifteen minute finale of a title song takes the elements built thus far and expands them dramatically: the first section rests on a sharp clean line, softer and slower than previous, whereas the middle noisier section is full-on aggressive. A silent, icy fadeout winds it all up.
In the end, "Dronolith" is a decent exercise in following one's heat as it moves its way through the fingers and across the guitar, come what may. Darryl Shepard displays passion, skill, and a good ear to anticipate looming themes. You could do worse than to give Blackwolfgoat a strong listen.
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