Is it too early for Halloween? Because here comes Daghraven with some dark sounds, just as the earth is turning light again. For those who enjoy listening to haunted music, there’s never a bad time for a release, but the music has to be distinct to attract our attention. And some would say the day between Good Friday and Easter is the last dark day ~ in fact, the darkest.
The drones descend like the clouds of Golgotha, prison chains are dragged across cement floors, forlorn notes ring like chimes. There’s something deceased in these sounds, borne on a cold choral wind. Those children want to invite you into their house, but is that really such a good idea? Don’t you hear that subterranean rumble, as if an ancient beast has loosed its bonds?
Not all of these sounds come across as scary; some are soothing as the witch’s voice in the gingerbread house. And we all love gingerbread. A little bit of sweetness can go a long way, especially when one is trapping flies. Or ghosts. Or innocent children. But is anyone truly innocent? And by the way, who’s playing that old gramophone? And does the shadow belong to something alive? These old touches – reminiscent of The Caretaker – lend the album a spirit of, well, spirits. Distant violins play mournful melodies; revelers whisper and whirl. But this party never ends, it repeats, locked in time.
So here’s the rub: Daghraven is actually an offshoot of Illuminine, whose last album (also titled #1) emulated Sigur Rós. When we reviewed that album, we expressed hope that Kevin Imbrechts would head in a darker direction, and guess what! No one would dare to guess these horses came from the same stable, as doing so would be like housing Prince Charming’s white horse with one of the four horses of the Apocalypse. This is an excellent direction for the artist, and he’s made an impression strong enough that we expect to remember him come October. (Richard Allen)
Release date: 26 March