BardSpec released their first album, Hydrogen, on June 23, 2017, courtesy of Norse Records. BardSpec is the ambient project led by Enslaved composer/guitarist Ivar Bjørnson, joined by Steve Austin of Today is the Day.
The just shy of two minute long intro track leads you into “Bone” – a song sending you on a journey of guitar, synth effects, and the feeling of Arabian Nights. The next song, “Fire Tongue”, is reminiscent of an old school pow-wow circle around a fire – the beat of the song is going to make you feel like you’ve traveled back to olden days, passing the peace pipe to your neighbor. This is the first single off the album, and it is clear why – the depth in the song continually grows, especially when the drummer is fused in, adding more dynamic (check out the video for this track below – the visualization is an important element of the song). The next song, “Gamma”, is a little harder to listen to than the rest – the beat is much higher than the previous songs, not seeming to have a perfect place on this album – it’s likely the song I would skip after listening to it once. “Salt” brings us back to a lower-key, a song more fitting of what Hydrogen has led us to expect – it is a very long song though, sitting at 12:24. The bonus track, “Teeth”, wraps the album up with a myriad of sound and composition that brings Hydrogen full circle.
Hydrogen is an album that highlights the difficulty of creating and playing in ambient music. This is a difficult genre to master and be successful in, and BardSpec has clearly made a major effort in order to create this album. If you’re expecting a headbanging, movement inducing album, this album will not be for you. If you enjoy becoming immersed in just sound, give Hydrogen a shot. Although some of the songs are long and may not be everyone’s cup of tea, if you’re a lover of music for the pureness of it, you may love these tunes.
Steve Austin – Guitar/effects
Bloodrock Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 axes
Written by Har-Lena Quinn for Bloodrock Media on June 26, 2017
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