Thursday, 25 June 2015


Band: When We Live (featuring Alexander Wieser)
Title: The Abyss
Format:  Available as a physical CDr release 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.  The song was recorded in Autumn 2014 and released in 2015.
Edition: Limited to 24 hand-numbered copies in CDr format.  The download version remains unlimited in availability.

Track Listing:
01. The Abyss (promo version)  2.14

When we last encountered the collaboration between When We Live and Hugin we were "Frozen In Time" and quite literally in the middle of a December cold snap here at Castle Nazgul.  And it can get very chilly at the Castle, perched as it is on a rocky crag at the highest point for miles around and blasted by Arctic winds that shakes the very tiles from the roof-tops.  Since that time, however, a Spring thaw has taken place, raising the water levels and leading us deep underwater, into "The Abyss"...

Formally released online on 18 May 2015, and a bit before that by Smell The Stench for the physical copy you see pictured above, this is a short track and very much in keeping with the style of music composed by these two projects in the past.  When Nazgul says a short release, this is one of those strange CDr discs that - on my car stereo at least - loops around again and again, meaning that on first listen it seemed like a repetitive and ever-cycling song until I realised what was going on.  In some respects it works quite well in that format though, becoming almost trance-like and hypnotic in nature, which adds a new dimension to it.

Credits for the work are shown on the Bandcamp pages, but can be summarised thus:  

"Music by Kirill Makushin, Alexander Wieser and Jerry Norton
Sounds and Effects by Jerry Norton and Kirill Makushin
Alexander Wieser: Electric Guitar / Keyboard / Final Mix
Jerry Norton: Synth / Mixed / Mastered
Kirill Makushin: Synthesizer / Accordion"

An abyss, generally speaking, can be defined in a number of ways: physically it is a vast chasm: a deep, immeasurable space, gulf, or cavity; more esoterically it is anything profound, unfathomable, or infinite.  It's also a popular word in the medium of television, film and music, with more than a few metal bands having used the word for their own song-titles - Stratovarius, Sepultura and Lionsheart being but three.

Due to the 'trilling' nature of the instrumentation at the song's outset this very much gives me the impression of being set in a rain forest rather than under the oceans, but whatever the setting it's a lovely little piece vibrant with colour but tranquil at one and the same time.  Assuming you play the thing through just the once (as opposed to Nazgul's seeming never-ending version!) it's short and sweet, leaving you wanting to hear it again - always the sign of a decent tune.

Let's finish off with a quote from the movie, The Abyss, and if you've never seen it prepare to be flummoxed: "So, raise your hand if you thought that was a Russian water tentacle..."

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