Review: SHRINE MAIDEN – “The Call In The Dawn” (experimental/noise)

From Lost Angeles comes a mysterious act that defies all sense of classification and style in and of itself.  SHRINE NAIDEN bring us their 6-track digital album, The Call In The Dawn.

We’ve said a number of times on this blog why people listen to noise, at least in our opinion: high vs. low frequencies, depth, tone and so on. In once sense it’s easier to analyze with harsh electronic noise..  With more organic-sounding bands like My Bloody Valentine or Godflesh, it’s mostly about getting lost in “depth.”

That brings us to LA’s SHRINE MAIDEN.  The Call In The Dawn is basically different experimentations with depth and tonal pieces.  The first couple of tracks on the album, “Farewell Summer” and “Midnight” are predominantly fuzzed-out guitar “sounding” pieces that kind of make you forget what instrument might be used to create them as the listener is simply caught up in the murky and somewhat creepy atmosphere. I think as opposed to making a noisy album experimenting with one style (shoegaze, harsh noise etc), SHRINE MAIDEN would have you forget that and just focus on the depth of what they are creating.

“A Warning to the Curious” is more of a vacuous, dark ambient/drone piece that effectively uses a muffled sound as opposed to the often over-produced “cinematic” dark ambient.  This is an old, creepy, subterranean and almost sci-fi sounding experiment with different tones.  I’d especially like to see more of this track expanded upon perhaps in a full album.

“From the Timeless Sea” goes a bit back to the feel of the first couple of tracks but more high-pitched and bathed in a My Bloody Valentine sound with that of an industrial-sized Shop Vacuum. 

Going now to “The Call In The Dawn,” I’m reminded of the work of Charlamange Palestine, a minimalist artist who was a master of creating his own tones by manipulating things like repetitive piano key smashing.  The auto-detuning kind of created their own notes as the piece went on.  What’s similar in this track by SHRINE MAIDEN is that the listener is caught in the blend of sounds as notes of their own seem to wave in an out.  So this is less of an experiment in depth and more-so one with tonal combinations. 

“The Hill Of Dreams” closes out the album in another noisy, murky, effect-driven (I think) guitar destruction.  If it’s not a guitar then they’ve fooled us and successfully assisted us in losing ourselves in the layers of sounds. 

I think maybe there is something to like for fans of noise who want to explore outside the proverbial “box.”  The same goes for fans of crusty doom/stoner metal and shoegaze.  There’s a bit of it all here.  So, it will be interesting to see where SHRINE MAIDEN take us next.

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