|Review: Wraith of the Ropes - Ada|
Label: Total Rust Music
Year released: 2005
Genre: Funeral Doom
Review online: April 2, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 4/5 (80%) (2 Votes)
Wraith of the Ropes is the main musical vehicle of E.M Hearst, who also released the thoroughly impressive EP 'Crushed Under' with his now disbanded solo project Torture Wheel that I reviewed a while back. Wraith of the Ropes is less drone infused than Torture Wheel, but no less soaked in utter degradation – just take a look at the artwork, eerily portraying a prone, naked young Asian girl, in what seems to be something like an abandoned mental institution.
Opening with the 'Chamber of the Wraith', featuring a slow, repeated ringing of a horror filled bell amongst whispered voices and fearful ambience, Wraith of the Ropes begin to produce a tour de force of Funeral Doom, replete with unstable atmospheres and despondent filled waves of woe crashing over you, submerging your psyche to the very depths of human emotion. Heavily processed vocals dominate the grey horizon, with the bass-filled guitars crashing their tales of horror and terror amongst the noticeable synthesizer work (which ranges from a ghostly music-box like effect, to a downright horrifying dredging of mental instability in sonic form). Murky and isolated, the music paints a sorry tale of 'Ada' (possibly the girl depicted on the cover), and her battle against herself, which she was never destined to win. Not much can be found with regards to the album being based on a real person, but that unknown factor simply adds to the moribund depressive aura which rains down like tarry sludge, suffocating and intoxicating. The album as a whole is best described as a never ending downward spiral, eroding positivity with each track, each passing second taking you closer to the lowest point of the spiral where the unbearable oceanic pressure of titanic misery squeezes the last breaths out of merriment, stomping the beaten face of optimism as it leaves after the final track.
These guys certainly know how to work some spiteful emotions into their music, and then to perpetually wear at them until nothing but their skeletal remains are left. With this album, they've actually managed to carve their own little niche into the genre, managing to create a recognizable sound that they can call their own – an impressive feat for any band, let alone one that is a arguably a relative newcomer (although forming in 2001, this album wasn't released until 2 years ago). Well worth investigation for fans of Skepticism or Esoteric, but especially worth paying out for when you'll get their debut EP sent as a freebie on semi-professional CD-R if ordered directly through their site.
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