Ryan McGuire – “Drukkna” Album Review

a1858820198_16Boston-based artist Ryan McGuire, also a member of the avant-metal group Ehnahre comes to us today with his third solo release, Drukkna.  Almost completely un-classifiable, the seven-track release blends different elements of experimental/noise, avant-garde and ambient music.  What makes this effort original is that, as the artist states, it was ” written for 4 amplified double basses, 4 amplified voices, and 4 amplified percussionists.”

But just when you think this album is all over the place just for the sake of being all over the place, he scares the shit out of you with unexpected moments like the seriously uncomfortable “The Wastelands” which sounds like a cross between the end of the world and an innocent life being sucked slowly out of someone.  But at least a track like this proves that the artist was mindful of different shapes and colors in addition to emotions.

Whereas most of the tracks are fairly layered and dynamic, “I Saw Your Secrets” takes a sparse, minimalist approach showcasing the double bass that is perhaps de-tuning itself.  It’s music in lonely, self-destruct mode.

There is some interesting stuff going on here.  It might even be appreciated by some noise fans who might not otherwise be interested in avant-garde releases that make use of stringed instruments.  I can’t say I’ve heard anything like this in a very long time, if ever…which is a good thing.


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