Plasticine Cowboy - The Westering Sun
Released: December 20
Sitting somewhere in the overlap of doom metal and noise, The Westering Sun is a slow-burn album written in honor of the long winter and the disappearance of the sun. It definitely has this feeling to it throughout the five track run, but its strongest aspect (in my opinion, at least) is the integration of these interesting guitar licks among the saturated atmosphere of heavy distortion and rumbling feedback. The opening track, "The Withered Land," puts this on full display right out the gate as it opens up with deep distorted tones that grumble along until a higher pitched bit of guitar pops in with just a couple of notes at first. Then, as he track progresses, we get more and more of this blues-y rock noodling while the background distortion continues in an ominous ebb and flow.
The whole dynamic of the album is rather cinematic in an odd way, with some very dark and gothic themes at play. The tones are captivating and the lack of any percussion at all doesn't feel like anything is missing. While much of the album feels like it could just be dark wall of noise, it is all of these semi-melodic flourishes that keep popping in at strange intervals that makes this album stand out. I can imagine listening to this album as a the sun sets on a desolate snow-and-ice-covered land with an unusual lack of vibrancy. It makes for a fascinating sonic exploration of the winter, a time of muted colors and oft-gray skies.