Sky Burial | Threnody For Collapsing Suns

Phage Tapes/Small Doses (2011)
By IAN DUNCAN-BROWN  |  October 12, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars


This haunting ambient work by Michael Page's Sky Burial is his most expansive, deliberately constructed record to date. Page, who once produced hot-blooded power electronics under the name Fire in the Head, here demonstrates his fluency in a dramatically different style. Threnody, Sky Burial's ninth record, engages more than 40 years of ambient and industrial, traversing kosmische musik — an offshoot of krautrock characterized by celestial, introspective synth work — as well as the varied, experimental rhythms of early industrial. The cavernous hum of 23-minute opener "Return to the Peripheries" metamorphizes into an insistent arpeggio as it nears its conclusion, whereas "Refractions from the Rift" emphasizes the album's rhythmic underbelly and the industrial textures that anchor Sky Burial's sound. The production — bright, lush, and full, without excessive digitization — augments the album's compositional complexity. Most ambient music these days comes down to quotidian, static drones, absent of melody, progression, or composition. By contrast, Page's painstaking, unique constructions brim with diverse moods and textures — a balm for ambient malaise.
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