Profound Lore Records
“The album’s title refers to a recurring daydream I had of disappearing completely—floating out to sea alone, and never being found.”
This is Dana Schechter’s premise for The Vanishing, Insect Ark’s third heavy hitter. The Swans member, along with Andy Petterson (ex SubRosa), together builds a soundtrack that is downright brooding and spine-tingling mesmerizing. Their music reaches into the deepest recesses of the subconscious and pulls out instrumentals that loom over us like a dark storm.
The two have developed musical textures in a song like “Danube” that not many people can accomplish to this effect. The guitar turns notes into floating accentuations that hover over an underbelly of egregiously low end frequencies until they collide into a tempo. This soundtrack-like exodus is beautiful and sad all in the same breath. It breathes in life and spits out a dissonance that is even better defined in the beginning of “Swollen Sun.” You feel the weight of the song’s determination, giving enough room for you to make your own conclusions. The beauty of The Vanishing is that these songs do not simply run on numbing downtuned structures and drenched instrumental sludge. There is an exceptional artistry to the careful creation of these songs that all horror soundtrack writers should take note.
The title track runs on the speed of Low but does not leave us carrying the weight. The beat dissipates to pin pricks of film score that makes the hair on the back of our neck stand up. They then push us over the edge of the cliff and send the listener lost into a hazy abyss of our own minds. After more than ten minutes, the abrupt ending is perfect punctuation to this sonic story.
The Vanishing is incredible music culminated from difficult and tumultuous songwriting. The outcome is brilliant.