We All Die! What A Circus!, is the ambient, musical project of one João Guimarães from Portugal that started last year and has recently (September) put out his debut full length LP, Until The Cosmos Takes Me Back. Guimarães makes mostly ambient, post-rock, drone music that I’ve been finding incredibly immersive because of some fantastic work with pacing, texture and atmosphere.
To be honest, I think it’s rather difficult to talk to in depth about this album without someone actually listening to it. It’s described as “something timeless and endless in every proportion and every direction distinctive-ambient sound can travel”, it could just be me, but it sounds like something very personal to Guimarães and I can respect that this is why he’s still put this out there and for a name your price, price.
That being said, I’ll give talking about this a damn good go!
Until The Cosmos Takes Me Back, is a deeply atmospheric release that would work perfectly as a soundtrack to some post-apocalyptic movie with its minor sounding tunes that focus heavily on guitar and background noise to keep up a sinister vibe. That being said, the album is made up entirely of these darkly sounding soundscapes with splashes of guitar, great guitar mind you, and it can get somewhat repetitive.
I think the album could have really immersed me if there was more variety to listen to, some richer, less dry sounding synths . I think the only tracks that seemed to stick out, with their interesting sounds, were Ancient Blood, the ghost star interludes and And Only Then We Accepted Death As An Oak. Ancient Blood has these flutes (?) being played, some choral spots and even some baby crying at the end – it all blends scarily well together during the outro and is a genuinely creepy track that set my expectations up for some more experimental uses of sampling.
While I do think some of the effects are used in moderation, I also can’t help but notice a certain type of delay that doesn’t compliment the style of these tunes a few times. You’ll hear it on: We Saw Our Blood Turn Into Dust, From India To Gaza II, Our Dust Turned Into This and Through This Empty Canvas We Almost Found The Light. It’s this delay that sparkles, if you hear it, you’ll know what I mean, and I think for this general mood of loneliness and isolation that I’m getting with Until The Cosmos Takes Me Back, I think it needs to be toned down.
Otherwise, the album isn’t overly produced; it sounds airy and makes use of reverb carefully, without me thinking of an empty cave every time I hear the tracks. I think the track And Only Then We Accepted Death As An Oak, makes careful use of effects – it’s also the first and only time I can recall where distortion is used on anything, which makes it somewhat more effective. There are also some rather squeaky sounding guitars near the end which are pleasant. Which goes for the same on a lot of these tracks, everything feels very easy to listen to, nothing scares you off or is abrasive, everything is just nice and accessible to listen to.
An immersive listen that will ensure a few listens, if only so you can catch everything that’s going on in this album. However, it can run rather dry and long with some of the longer tracks that seem to gather dust over the synths quicker than an abandoned house. Still, worth your time for the guitar, the lovely textures and the very post-rock track, And Only Then We Accepted Death As An Oak.