Andreas Brandal “Primal”

There’s something about this new offering from Andreas Brandal that feels like the soundtrack to whatever is happening in the dusty, cobwebbed covered corners of my brain as of late. Rummaging through detritus, there’s a lot of empty space that stings with surprising sharpness, but transonic gold emerges within the conflagrating trepidation.

Primal is a horror soundtrack. Countless scrapes and rattling mixed with banal everyday sounds and synthetic, oscillating tones make for a tense, squalid atmosphere. Decomposing structures send out lifelines on “Sense,” last gasps of resonant glee into a dying void that rises up acting as an aural eraser. After the dust settles, hooded figures emerge, dragging bones on “Urge” across junkyard floors as the dense landscape shifts in every possible shade of grey.

Warm thoughts are jettisoned as soon as they pierce the caustic midnight veil. Voices and rich sonic elements flicker on “Instinct,” even a surprise acoustic guitar, all part of an escapist dream to remind us that underneath the rotting husk, we’re still alive. Digging through draws of metallic shards, “Fear” is an implanted memory growing like a fungus in the crevices where no light can enter. Static sizzles across wires until they disintegrate, the sound of a distant, faded past.

Resolution finally materializes on closer “Solution.” Surprising melodic passages grow in potency before dissolving into passing blurs. A glitched ringing gets louder, scratching out messages in the dust as a warning before being stretched and pulled apart. Brandal’s crafted an intricate, detailed world on Primal, but with its stink of desolation and mistrust, it will loom like a specter in the musty darkness.

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