Sheer Zed – Do Not Submit To The Control Claw
27 April 2018
9 / 10
Experimental, electronic musician releases his new album. Louder Than War’s Pal Scott-Bates reviews.
Make no mistake, this is a remarkable album. This is an album that is steeped in such incredible feeling and passion that it should leave an indelible mark on everyone that takes time to listen to it. Newport born, Sheer Zed has come up trumps with Do Not Submit To The Control Claw and, if either ambient, experimental, drone, meditative or trance are your bag then this is an album that you will adore.
Opening with the title track, the album (that feels like it has been recorded in a huge echoing warehouse) begins on subtle, calming tones for over two minutes as a gorgeous, floating beginning eases the listener in. Soon after, sounds of trance start to emerge with percussion patter and potentially screaming interludes. It marks the entrance of a giant being, undoubtedly the Control Claw, as it struts its influence over everything in its path. As gently as it came, it then fades away.
Spirit Sensei’s Guiding Light rattles the cage somewhat, from the opening bass gurgle to the paced percussion which echoes wonderfully against the eclectic background. It stomps and marks its ground as the Claw establishes the pecking order against its prey. It breathes and paces its territory with confident assurance.
The percussion led Magick Square Defense adds an almost far-Eastern feel and provided an exciting taster when the album was announced. It loops over several sounds and the constant reverb, which is maintained throughout the album, adds suspense and intrigue. It’s certainly not an album for the fainthearted as it effortlessly moves from calm to energy at the drop of a hat. The Hypnogogic Encryption Of Star Systems is incredible over eleven minutes as it hypnotises and thrills. A mid-section of increased pace sets the heart pounding before it ceases its tease and relaxes once more.
Deus Ex Machina (For DIL23) sounds like an engine steam room of massive proportion perhaps fuelling the Claw for one last assault and Slowly Drifting Into Geometric Space sees a marathon hibernation of enthralling ambience before the beast finally dies on Destruction Of The Control Claw.
Call this a concept album, call it experimentalism, call it whatever you will. One thing that it will certainly be called is outstanding.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop and you can follow him on Twitter as @hiapop, and on Facebook here.