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Alexander Glavniy : Without Waste Words

Albeit not perfect, the purely instrumental solo effort of Alexander Glavniy (Autumnia) is a commendable experiment worthy of attention.

The head of the Ukrainian band/project Autumnia, Alexander Glavniy, has now released his first solo effort under his own name. He chose a programmatic title for his album, for there are no vocals whatsoever on Without Waste Words. A purely instrumental Metal record is quite a singularity in itself, but Glavniy avoids well-trodden paths in terms of style, too. To give you a rough idea of what the music sounds like, it could be described as Melodic Death Doom in the Peaceville tradition with a healthy dose of good old Heavy Metal and neoclassical as well as Death Metal influences.

As heterogeneous or even chaotic as this may sound, it actually works pretty well. Luckily, the musician – complemented by a handful of guests – places the elements wisely and carefully so as to avoid cluttered compositions. The neoclassical touch in particular is used with care, and Glavniy keeps his music well away from cheesy Goth pomp. Instead, his string arrangements (violin and cello, to be precise) and the occasional flute combine surprisingly well with the guitar riffs and intensify the atmosphere of light, but authentic melancholy, sometimes even creating an effect of dramatic climax. All of this places Without Waste Words in the neighbourhood of other genre-bending atmospheric Metal albums rather than your usual Doom release. “Enigma”, for instance, bears a certain resemblance to later Kauan material, not least due to the interesting synth lead.

On the whole, there is no shortage of variation here, also stylistically. While the Melodic Death Doom of Glavniy’s main band is quite predominant in songs like “Fallen” and “The Sinner’s Suffering” (if they can be called songs at all without vocals), others are faster and more dynamic than one would usually expect in Doom. On rare occasions, the music even delves into Death Metal territory, most conspicuously and intensely in “By Paths of Despair” – here, this change comes as a welcome surprise since the rest of the song sadly drags on a bit. Sometimes the guitars and (programmed) drums are taken back altogether to open the stage for sparse Ambient-like passages with piano and atmospheric textures. The stand-out track “Fallen” is probably the best example of this. With “Parting”, we even get a purely neoclassical piece which closes the album in a convincing way.

Above all, Without Waste Words is an album which needs time and attention. It is unlikely to leave a lasting impression from just playing it in the background. However, given the proper mood, it can be a very rewarding listening experience. Composition-wise, it is not a perfect album: some riffs – especially the faster ones – cannot really captivate, and the slightly clumsy drum programming in those passages doesn’t help, although it is fine in most other sections. The songwriting really shines in the slow, atmospheric parts, but seems a bit unfocused in others. This being said, Alexander Glavniy has nonetheless come up with a commendable experiment which should be of interest to all open-minded Metal fans who are not exclusively looking for something extreme. This material is best suited for your calm and contemplative hours, but beware, you may be in for a surprise when the blast beats finally set in…

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Storm
2. Enigma
3. Fallen
4. Without Waste Words
5. The Sinner’s Suffering
6.App Flight of the Soul
7. By Paths of Despair
8. Parting

Duration : Approx. 43 minutes

Visit the Alexander Glavniy bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-09-07 by Dominik Sonders
Aesthetic Death
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