Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Skepticism - Process of Farmakon

Beginning with what sounds like the pumping of mighty pipe organ bellows, “Process of Farmakon” introduces the latest progressions in the sound of Skepticism. Recorded in 2001, this EP is the only document of Skepticism in the five years between “Lead and Aether” and 2003’s devastating full length “Farmakon”. Already you can hear the roots of the upcoming onslaught. Skepticism sounds fuller and heavier than ever. The vocals are the most expressive they have ever been. The sounds of the organ are immense and organic sounding. The song writing is trickier and more unusual as well. They plod through dozens of changes, each time deepening the scope of this new territory. While the sonics and the vocals are much livelier, Skepticism is still working entirely within the bounds of their original formula; just making it increasingly more rich and refined. Both songs on this EP are reworked on the upcoming full length, but this EP offers the opportunity to really stretch this material out. They are mixing this material for it’s hallucinogenic properties; strange whispering, bubbling water sounds (not unlike a bong session, actually) and the mechanical sounds of the organ are brought out front in the mix. There is even a discordant organ solo halfway through the second piece, after which the bong sounds take over and fade us into silence. After an entire minute of silence, the rumbling of the tom drums starts to pick along with the soft hum of the organ; this leads to two minutes worth of ominous droning over minimal beating on the drums and then the band calmly winds down to nothing. The riffs and vocals on this EP are gripping and dramatic, the dynamics in their songwriting has brought forth a new level of tension in their music. Their growing confidence in musicianship caused them to fearlessly tread just a few steps outside of their militantly minimal murk. This is a very exciting release, not in the least because it is a seventeen minute preview of where this band is going and what is to come.

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