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Eald Ge Streon Abhijna

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Album Review

Troum's own liner notes start by describing this album as "a collection of strange songs and odd old jewels." Don't take the first part literally, for the band hasn't changed its ways, and Eald-Ge-Streon features the kind of drone music you have come to expect from Germany's prime exponents of industrial drone music. However, "odd old jewels" perfectly fits the contents. The basic tracks for the seven pieces were recorded "years ago," on an analog eight-track machine. Left unfinished, they have been used through the 2000s as backing tracks for live performances, reworked on, augmented, and eventually spit-shined for this release. The resulting music is a bit muddier in sound quality than usual Troum (lots of audio flapping, although very well used and nicely framed by other sounds), but the music is as involved, rich, and transporting as Troum's music ever gets. Scrutinized, the loops seem to disintegrate under the sheer weight of the massed guitars, voices, and field recordings, yet taken as a whole, the music is surprisingly light, aerial, and ecstatic. Highlights include the opener and closer, "Elation" and "Crescere," the latter an uplifting hymn, plus "Dhânu-H," whose massed buildup of guitars and percussion is reminiscent of Godspeed You Black Emperor!-type post-rock, while remaining pure Troum. It could be argued that the industrial leanings of Troum's mother band, Maeror Tri, come forward more distinctly on this release, but they were always there to start with. The first edition of Eald-Ge-Streon (500 copies) comes with a bonus disc that includes the 33-minute "Abhuñâ," a brand-new track with better sound (obviously a digital recording) and a more menacing demeanor, making it a nice complement to the main set. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Eald Ge Streon Abhijna, Troum
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