Monday, December 3, 2007

The Tenants of Balthazar's Castle - Nephlocentric Moods

The Tenants of Balthazar’s Castle
Nephlocentric Moods
(10.2007, A. Star)

The Tenants of Balthazar’s Castle continues in his prolific mode capturing the fifth of his alleged nine releases before “the castle will fall.” Nephlocentric Moods sees ToBC upping the packaging qualities of his work as well, including a beautiful photograph of a bustling cloudscape. The image shares the disposition of the music: warning of an impending storm. Nephlocentric Moods is a single track exceeding thirty minutes in length that parades some new territory for ToBC. Opening with an incessant buzz underscored by some brooding melodics, Nephlocentric Moods starts with the slowly building power electronics that any Tenants fan should be somewhat familiar with. The coarseness of the electronics falls just below the devastation of his debut, Terror in Twelve Parts. Slowly building, the introduction of some deviously distorted vocals demonizing the piece, causing you to question the direction you are heading. Just past ten minutes an alarm sounds, the phone is off the hook and a barrage of muffled explosives hit the surface. The escalation of tone continues to rise and then slowly withers away giving a brief relief. These minimalistic tricks continue until, about 2/3rds the way in, the structure switches from free noise to free jazz with a searing clarinet. The madman playing drives the last ten minutes of the piece to its breaking point. Another worthy addition to a spotless back catalog, The Tenants of Balthazar’s Castle continues to expand and excite.

-Mr. Thistle

ToBC on Virb

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