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the grey subaudible
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eibon records

album rating: 2

submitted by ben on 30-Jul-2001
The Grey Subaudible is essentially the first full length album from Nothing, following a split cassette with Windham Hell (which attracted the attention of Italy's Eibon Records) and Nondescript, a CD of assorted compilation tracks and demos. Nothing is the brainchild of Jason Walton, who has been involved in numerous musical endeavors over the years. This project, now his primary focus, is constantly aided with collaborators; Nihk Loiacano (Climb To Zalem) and Scott Candey (Gruntsplatter) both contribute to this disc.

A pair of instrumental tracks, the same composition broken down into two parts, binds the CD together like bookends. Composed by Gruntsplatter, the dark, corrosive textures work beautifully to set the tone of the disc, with a simple, throbbing heartbeat rhythm that seems to strengthen the album's expressed fixation with disease and mortality. "Working Through the Nail" begins with the buzzing of flies drowning in a pool of deep, methodic rhythms and heavy breathing. Drawn out, half-whispered vocals are recited over rich, stoic sounding, structured keyboard melodies. There is a strong contrast between beauty and darkness that works really well for a lot of this material.

All of the musical ideas on The Grey Subaudible are explored within a tight style. Recurring approaches and common threads running through each song make the disc a strong, cohesive whole; it's as solid as a well-executed concept album. Each track seems to grow out of the one before it. This continuity is a definite strong point, and I hate listening to the disc in part or cut it off half way through. Unless I'm looking at the track number I can rarely tell where a song starts or ends - the entire disc plays like one lengthy piece. The focus remains constant.

"Explosive Chain of Lethal Transmission" is a dark, meandering track that feels like a culmination of the emotion attached to the washes of melody that define a lot of the music. The clearly spoken vocals follow a killer's justification for his morbid fascination, read matter of fact and with a strangely convincing sanity. Mauro Berchi's beautiful packaging and design that completes this release is true to Eibon form. The Grey Subaudible is a top notch release with a lot to offer, and I have a feeling it will only get better with age.

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