Black Hill is the side project of the guitarist from musicformessier. I reviewed musicformessier’s album, Leaving the I.S.S, last month and thoroughly enjoyed the blissfully space-post-rock sound that both musicformessier and Cousin Silas had created together. Today, however, we’re looking at the split album, Black Turns Grey, featuring Black Hill and soundscaper Eensdenkend. Straight away, you can hear some heavy influences from musicformessier, but that is to be expected after you take one of the main sounds from a band and put it into another – the effects driven guitars, the focus on ambiance and space is still present throughout this release. But has it done enough to remain interesting?
Even though there is still some heavily effect driven guitars, they seem to have been used much more sparingly, at least it’s been cooled down with the strange phaser – delay is still utilised on almost every song. On tracks like White Widow and Black Turns Grey, they seem have cut back slightly on the effects and as such, it doesn’t sound quite as otherworldly as musicformessier. I think the inclusion of percussion on this release has also benefited the overall sound, even if it is all minimal. gAtE and Ten Gram, both have simple little drumming played underneath the tracks in a subtle and fitting way that doesn’t smoother any sound. I would have liked to have seen more drumming on this release, something quiet, just to break up the constant guitar and synth use.
Which leads me to my biggest problem with this release, is while the tones of the guitars are lovely, especially on the closer The Diva Of Sunshine, it all feels very samey. The exact problem I had with musicformessier last time. But then, both Black Hill and Eensdenkend work well together and that’s what makes this split worth a listen.
Eensdenkend’s side breaks up the typical six string play that I’ve been hearing for the past few songs and probably to the best effect too: the two last tracks, Just One More Step To Luna and The Diva Of Sunshine, both set a great atmosphere with some really thick droning synth sounds. The use of the distortion guitar (?) after the intro is killer – it’s not your typical way of using a distortion pedal and makes things sound much more drone-like.
It’s this coming together that makes this post-rock/drone release, interesting – the input from both of these lads has had a positive effect on both artists, I think it would have just been better to vary things up, put something else into the mix with Black Hill’s tunes and you’ll have something quite different.
Black Turns Grey is another nice ambient release from post-rock guitarist, Black Hill and moody droner, Eensdenkend, but it’s nice to see that the latter is rubbing off on the former. Listen to this release for some twinkly and pretty guitar, some subtle percussion and a pair of great soundscape tracks that will haunt your speakers with their beauty.