Wednesday, 17 December 2014

FROZEN IN TIME


Band: When We Live (featuring Alexander Weiser)
Titles: 'Frozen In Time'
Format: Available as a physical CDr released in November 2014 on the Smell The Stench label (Australia), no catalogue reference, and as downloadable tracks on Bandcamp.  Both were recorded as collaborative pieces between Russian project When We Live and our old chum, Hugin.
Edition: CDr pressing limited to 33 hand-numbered pieces.  Download version unlimited in availability at date of writing.

Track Listing:
01. When We Live (featuring Alexander Wieser)  *  Frozen In Time 02:18    
02. Kirill Makushin  *  Fallen Leaves 00:58  

Today's offering is one of those collaborative efforts that Hugin is oft asked to become a part of.   We last crossed paths with Russian project When We Live back in September 2013 when their split release with Uruk Hai was reviewed (and well received it was too).  

The Russian project When We Live was founded by Jerry Norton and Kirill Makushin in March 2013, and taking account of the credits on the Bandcamp page, there certainly seems to have been some industrious work put in by the three musicians in question: credits for sounds and effects are taken by Jerry Norton and Kirill Makushin, whilst Hugin picks up the honours for electric guitar, keyboard and the final mix.  Meanwhile, synth, mixing and mastering is attributed to Jerry, and synthesizer and accordion (that most metal of instruments) goes on down the slate for Kirill.  

The track 'Frozen In Time' appeared on the aforementioned split release with Uruk Hai, but the kicker in this instance is that the 2013 version was not a collaborative effort whereas this version is.  Hence the additional 'featuring Alexander Weiser' credit appearing on the blurb, you see.  So what do we get on our very short two-song CDr's worth of plastic, then?

Well, the eerie nature of guitar and keyboards on the 'Frozen In Time' track can't be overstated.  Nazgul's morning commute is an early one, and ghosting through dark and abandoned city streets at 06:30 listening to this song is strangely apt, even given the imagery on the cover art of frozen trees and barren, snowy landscapes.  It all comes across as a bit 'unreal' if you know what I mean, not so much a song as it is the sound of a zephyr of wind passing gently through the branches of a gnarled oak.  It's nothing you'd hum to yourself as you go about your day, but equally nothing that you'd ignore if it were playing in the background.  All instrumental, and all good.

Second song 'Fallen Leaves' is very much the brainchild of Kirill Makushin, and is dedicated to his son.  It's so short that it almost defies description, and is even more sparse than the already lean-to-the-bone 'Frozen In Time', but at under a minute hardly has enough time to grab your attention before it's gone like a tiny leaf swirling away in a little eddy of sound...

One merciful thing about this release is that it has absolutely nothing whatever to do with that interminable 'Let One Go' song from the film Frozen (or is that 'Let It Go'...?  No, I think Nazgul had it pretty much nailed the first time), although the prospect of a future Uruk Hai cover song of this current seasonal favourite is not without its dubious charms.  After all, we all remember the sterling effort that was Hrossharsgrani's version of 'House Of The Rising Sun'....

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