Music, when executed with acute fervor and subtle restraint has the ability to take a listener on a journey more vivid and efficacious than words or even cinema could ever achieve. In my opinion, this concept, though unquestionably oldfangled is not antiquated despite an apparently overwhelming consensus and as proof, I call upon the sophomore release from Swedish analog electronic duo, Roll The Dice. Entitled In Dust, the 11-song full-length reads more like bizarre aural cinema than simple music.
Composed in a span of only a few months, the album meanders through the increasingly common theme of a nearly apocalyptic communion between man and machine. And though it’s an interesting concept for a music album, the real gold lies in the duo’s meticulous attention to detail. The way they have used aspects of classical approach by building and recapitulating themes throughout the album to better convey meaning and development is a fresh and welcomed approach.
Prime example lies in album opener as Iron Bridge” drones a patient and hesitant intro leading in to a throbbing and claustrophobic pulse serving to introduce the tone of the narrative. Further into the song a warm yet cacophonic acoustic piano strikes monotonous singular notes seemingly pointing at some sort of organic life while the original industrial drone and rhythmic pattern soldier on under piles of synths.
Equally representative is “The Way Out” in which a helicopter-esque rendition of the original pulse found in “Iron Bridge” opens the song and leads us to nearly dissonant synth elements evocative of those from both “Maelstrom” and “Cause And Effect.” As this dissonance builds we’re reintroduced to a double-time electrical-sounding percussive element found in more esoteric form in “Dark Thirty.” The track thickens and eventually gives way to an airy, major-sounding passage indicative of redemption from the bleak fragility indicated elsewhere on the album.
Consider this review a cinematic trailer – a very brief overview – of an incredible sonic adventure unlike anything I’ve so far encountered. I urge you to listen with an open mind and be ready for the unexpected. You won’t be disappointed.