The first truly new Converter album for a couple of years, this really is something else. It certainly isn’t a straight progression from Blast Furnace, but then it isn’t a total revolution either. With a few exceptions, everything has been slowed down to amazing effect, drawing you into 70 or so minutes of what can be an unsettling listen.
It almost works as some twisted soundtrack to an urban nightmare, and what a film it would be. The album opens with five minutes of dronr(itual), a strangely soothing, well, drone, almost as if it were setting the scene across some decaying cityscape. The feeling is perpetuated by the languid, shuffling beats of bloodsex, offering a chink of light (and whisper it, melody) amongst the almost suffocating darkness of the rest of the album. Also the most, well, different track on the album, as in my opinion it sounds nothing like the Converter of old. Which is where nightmare machine comes in â€“ doing exactly as it says on the tin. A machine gradually clunks into life, heaving and creaking into existence across eight minutes, again, with little or no beats.
cloud eye is truly astonishing, as it morphs from an intro of gloriously blissed-out ambience, into a hailstorm of beats that come out of nowhere, and then just keeps adding more and more layers until stripping back down to another beat and starting again. in ruins drones and clanks its way through – almost feeling as a (very long) journey into order/creature, which again just builds and builds the layers, this time twisting into something totally different by the end. gateway rite has an eerie tribal feel to it, while soulstealer sounds suitably hellish, the feel of a gathering storm (or perhaps distant battle) to it. night follows day continues the theme, another droning, unsettling track, with closer fallen building odd, skittering beats onto another droning soundscape, each track showing a mastery of mood and control that many other artists can only ever hope to try and match.
Not really an album to listen to in short bursts, this is one to immerse yourself in. Enjoy the trip.