In The Vacuum Of Blackened Space/Destitution [split]

As All Die - In The Vacuum Of Blackened Space/Destitution (split W/ Vienke) ©1999 Dragon Flight Recordings
As All Die:
1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. V
6. VI
7. Destitution

As All Die represents the more sparse, minimalized project for Long Winter's Stare's band leader, Clint Listing. Tearing down the instrumentation to essentially acoustic guitar, synthesized orchestrated effects and extremely spacious songwriting concepts, As All Die is a very haunting and intriguing outfit. In the Vacuum of Blackened Space/Destitution is a split CD with the experimental ambient artist Veinke, who match As All Die's six songs with one lengthy soundscape passage.

As All Die's segment of the CD is a slightly disturbing and somber affair. With the songs being composed of neo-classical washes in the background and strummed acoustic guitar in the foreground, the effect of the music is easily evident and strong. Listing's vocals are reminiscient of Carl McCoy of Fields of the Nephilim having a slightly worse day than usual. The vocals are half-whispered, half-uttered and are certainly morose. The six tracks build and sustain a dismal, grave mood that all at once encompasses and surpasses everything the listener might have been familiar with in Long Winter's Stare. For those wishing to capture a supremely dejected mood, As All Die can offer all that, only without a razor blade to complete the picture.

Veinke's submission to the CD is in stark contrast to As All Die's music. One might imagine As All Die putting on a performance for their segment of the disc, leaving the auditorium and the leftover sounds of humming air conditioning and ceiling fans with the occasional ghost offering a hoarse whisper being the composition of Veinke's music. This is exceptionally sparse and minimalistic ambient music that offers the exact opposite of As All Die's structured songwriting.

Overall, the CD does introduce the listener to a project that is certainly worth hearing more of in the future. Veinke might not appeal to those who prefer a little more construction to their music, but As All Die's inclusion on the CD makes it a worthy find for those into truly bleak and marginal music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2001

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