R.J. Schrey : The 7 Hidden Chapters

R.J. Schrey: The 7 Hidden ChaptersContra Musik Produktion: 2008
Format: CDr

I usually don’t agree to promo items after my last webzine ended with me buried beneath mounds of subpar metal releases. With promos, there’s always an obligation. I’m just a fan with the webspace reviewing mostly what I buy. That’s why there almost always “two thumbs up”. But I decided to say yes to a couple of releases from Contra because right off the bat, I liked their packaging, simple 5 x 7 (or 13 x 18 in Europe) covers printed on photo stock with CD hubs glued on and placed in protective bags. Pretty ingenious as I hate jewel cases, and it looks nice. Now for the music itself.

Completely instrumental, Mr. Schrey manages to mix Dark Ambient, early Industrial and harsher, noisier elements together for a very interesting. At times I detected slight touches of Vangelis-like electro slightly under the surface only to be replaced by more ominous touches as quickly as they began. Tracks like “The Moment Of Fear” contain barely controlled sonic chaos that drifts into horror soundtrack ambience.

The problem with most “ambient” music is, it just gets boring after awhile. It’s good background noise if you’re doing something else, but usually good for little else. R.J. manages to keep it interesting by coming at you from places you don’t expect from the genre. You’ll never know what he’s throwing at you next, but not to say there’s no structure. There’s a definite theme of dread and antipathy running throughout the disc. This is most definitely uneasy listening.


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