Earlier this summer someone forwarded a two-minute preview track to me by an artist I had never heard of with the context of ‘this album is easily some of the best noise/drone stuff this year’, and being the connoisseur that I am (cough) on that field, it piqued my interest quite a bit. Even more so when I noticed I kept hitting replay on that brief song over and over again and knew that I needed to keep tabs on it going forward to ensure I won’t be late to the party. Luckily I didn’t need to rely on my memory alone.
Field of Fear, the Oakland based experimental noise act is releasing its new album Beyond the Reach of Light via Whited Sepulchre Records on September 29, and today we’re glad to present to you the oh so tangibly visceral and beautifully haunting “Shadowed” from said album. Strap in, prepare your senses for annihilation, and hit play from below;
In the context of art and its creation, the turmoils and perturbations of mental health are brought up often as a formulaic source which the artist then navigates using their given medium as a vessel, to ultimately achieve a release – a catharsis, if you will. What’s oftentimes left unmentioned is that pouring a certain period of hardships to a creative outlet is wildly different from dealing with any chronic illness by means of art, and by extension, the latter doesn’t really subside after what’s being created is done, but quite the contrary. The press release for Field of Fear makes a case for this, and also tells how starting and ending on a pure sine wave, Beyond the Reach of Light exemplifies this perennial loop.
It is certainly the persistent murk and unyielding internal darkness that constitute the essence of Field of Fear, acting as the project’s main components that insidiously burrow deep into the listener’s psyche without them even perhaps noticing it. Swaying between strong drones, pulsating dark electronics, and harsh noise, “Shadowed” takes its sweet time to linger on and gather extraordinary dimensions of mass before the final stretch of industrial-paced distress, that is simultaneously as thrilling and invigorating as it is harrowing and cacophonous. The song demonstrates perfectly the idea of how the release from the throes of anguish is nothing but momentary, and even though it’s relatively straightforward beneath all the layers, there’s a constant sense of intricacy and unexpectedness governing the atmosphere.
Speaking of atmosphere, one of Field of Fear‘s biggest strengths is the exquisite production, which emphasizes all the aspect it needs to at any given time, having that wall of sound-esque character yet leaving just enough room for air here and there. Don’t soothe yourself to that fact though, as even the air found on “Shadowed” and Beyond the Reach of Light is very much asinine and suffocating. It doesn’t occur often that someone is able to harness torment in as sophisticated fashion as it is here, and that’s something to take note of.
As said, Beyond the Reach of Light will be released on September 29, and you can pre-order both vinyl and cassette as well as check out Field of Fear‘s earlier doings from here. You’re not ready for it, but you won’t regret it, either.