Song review: Radiance
Band: Matrioshka Brain
Location: Saint John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Date of Release: 04 June 2014
Genre: Dark Ambient
Reviewer: The Astr0naut
Before I get into this, I want to talk a little about the genre of Dark Ambient. Usually, there are not very many instruments that are used here. It tends to fall into the realm of using synthesizers primarily and what is called a drone machine. This produces the droning sound that you will hear throughout the song. On top of that, there is also the noise machine which produces anything else noise wise that can be added in through trigger sequences. Since Dark Ambient is such a small genre where not many people know much about it, I figured I’d throw around the gist of it.
So this song is interesting because it includes an adaptation of a speech given before the nuclear attack on Nagasaki, Japan as a result of the situation that occurred at Pearl Harbor. Because of that, this has a dark [ha] meaning to the entirety of the song. The way it starts revolves around an engine being heard, letting an image pry itself into the listener’s mind as an extremely high pitched sound throws itself into the equation.
As the high pitched droning continues, the speech comes in, and isn’t easily audible. For anyone who happens to stumble across a dark ambient tune like this, they will most likely not understand it, and won’t like it. The high pitched noise for example would most likely draw a lot of listeners away because of the amount of time that it is implemented, which is roughly the first minute of the song.
Overall, the song is powerful by its meaning, but because no one really looks into the meaning behind songs as often as they should, it comes across as a bunch of harsh noises. The speech is barely heard at all, and is quite inaudible at some parts, and the droning never really picks up or changes throughout the three minutes of the song.
The droning wasn’t necessarily bad, but the ending was very abrupt. It didn’t have any winding down, just the end, and it kind of just happened. Again, because of the genre, dark ambient tunes generally do not have this, so it makes it a different case. From a reviewing aspect though, something else could be done there.
Noise Machine: 6/10
Lyrics [Use of Speech within song]: 9/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 7/10
Personal Enjoyment Factor: 6/10
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