Predella Avant – Carbon Figures

Two years ago Predella Avant more or less took the world by storm with their powerful self-titled debut album, filled with orchestral soundscapes. Now they have come up with a second cd (if you don’t count the limited ‘Noviomagus’ cd-r). Carbon Figures, again on the Black Rain side-label Ars Musica Diffundere, demonstrates that the project has grown further. With apparent ease Predella Avant creates a majestic sound.

Again the listener has to use the music as his sole point of reference. There are no tracktitles, and the grim looking black digipack and booklet are far from informative. But the music can speak for itself. The first track sets a threatening mood, with swirling orchestral sounds, solemn drums and the nasty sound of a crying baby. No, this isn’t a festive world were we are taken to. Track two is one of the bombastic highlights, especially the powerful percussion blows you away. Aggressive voices in the background enhance the militant atmosphere. Track 3 continues in martial manner, where the walls of percussion are combined with classical layers and bloodthirsty armies ahouting.

Then things slow down a little. The fourth piece is a bleak industrial soundscape, with cold wins blowing over the deserted battlefields. The following track has rumbling machinery coming from below the surface. The brooding orchestral sounds give a premonition that things are going to happen. The choral singing behind the deep drones have a mood of lament. A good piece of sound construction. After a further dark soundscape it is time for the seventh track, a very solemn piece of ambient that gets you in its spell with some ethnic sounds and dark choirs. ‘Carbon Figures #8’ is also a favourite, with flowing strings and an original rhythm.

Track no.9 is more bombastic again, a solid piece driven by warlike percussion and an orchestra of doom. More martial activities occur on the last but one track, very orchestral and powerful, with repetive shouting. Another warbase-dancefloor favourite. The final track gives a final blow if you haven’t surrendered yet.

An impressive album, half filled with bombastic orchestral mayhem, and for the other half with monumental soundscapes. I also like the fact that Predella Avant seems to concentrate on quality. Not too many releases, and albums which are not too long. Just 40 minutes of worthwhile music on “Carbon Figures”. Of course there are quite a few more acts active in the filed of martial orchestral music, but Predella Aavant is without a doubt at the forefront of this ‘movement’.

artist: Predella Avant
label: Ars Musica Diffundere
details: 11 tracks