Darsombra: Climax Community

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Darsombra: Climax Community
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Darsombra: Climax Community
Drone
Exile on Mainstream Records
October 16th, 2012
Release length: 45:43
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Darsombra is a two-piece Drone group that has been praised as “Transcendental Rock” for quite a while. Over the years, they have put out recordings through various underground labels, such as At a Loss, Public Guilt, and Underradar. For 2012, they issue their latest full-length effort, titled Climax Community, through Exile on Mainstream. This effort finds three full songs clocking in at over forty-five minutes in length. But, does this work to the group’s advantage, or does their latest effort wind up falling short of the monicker they have been given?

The production of Climax Community is definitely of a higher end, though most of the time you won’t really notice it. The guitars vary from clean distortions to electronic Space Rock effects that usher in a Science Fiction atmosphere. The bass, when used, is rather low, and can be pretty loud, as well as crushing when used right. There are no vocals, keyboard or drums, which leaves the music a little open, a tactic the group can play on very well through much of the material, or ultimately choose the wrong path and leave bland repetition instead of the unique elements that create something wonderful.

First up is the song “Roaming the Periphery,” which is basically what the album describes. The song definitely carries the “Transcendental” label, and the Rock aspect largely looms in spirit through a lighter sound that one might associate with the style. Reaching over twenty-three minutes, this extremely slow paced track does cast you into an astral world. Soft clean singing gives things a Science Fiction space opus vibe with matching electronics and guitar work in the background. This eventually stops, and caters to single guitar riffs that fade in and out, or are stummed at a volume that will immediately wake you up, giving you the sense of a wide-open terrain that you are helplessly lost in with no end in sight. But, at the ten-and-a-half minute mark, the burdening isolation gives way to two repeating clean notes being played against what can be described as Space Rock effects on background atmospheric leads. A large jump from the two chapters that started it, which also removes that sense of loneliness from the environment, as well as makes it seem like an entirely new track until after the bass kicks in, and things revert back to the earlier empty sense from the start of the album.

After the odyssey that is “Roaming the Periphery,” things do come back down to Earth for a bit. “Green” is a simpler acoustic track which finds Southern notes and and an atmosphere that could easily be thrown into a Western stand-off. It’s a very laid back performance with a slight bit of tension as it gradually adds a little more complexity and speed to the riffs. It also clocks in at just over four minutes, which leaves “Thunder Thighs” to pick up the remaining eighteen plus minutes of the release. In a strange way, this one seems to mold the two environments together. While not quite as astral until the end, this track’s Middle Eastern sound is met with cleaner guitar chords that introduce some of the Southern hospitality that “Green” carried with it. The sharper notes in the background at a lower volume fill things up nicely to give a slight psychadelic droning effect, while the bass and lead notes pull your attention to the forefront, leaving you split between which world to embrace. Unfortunately this choice is made for you with the Space Rock effects against heavy distortion riffs that kill the background, and carry the song into an eighties Science Fiction territory once more. This sadly kills the unique pull that grabs you from the very start, building towards a rather unimpressive slow-paced guitar solo that sounds ripped out of the seventies before climbing back into the soundtrack to a cheap television show of the same year and genre. Voices are thrown in with a simple “Doo-Doo,” as if a siren going off come into play, the guitar shifts into bass, and the vocals into literal alarms with more Space Rock riffs that remind you that you never left the cosmos, and are still hopelessly lost in them.

With Climax Community, Darsombra really show off their ability to make awe-inspiring and atmosphere-rich material that will instantly hook even the most anti of Drone fanatics. However, they also counter a lot of the unique material with overly simple droning riffs or effects that really pull you out of the environment they spent so much, or even so little time to establish. With an opus that seems like an inspired soundtrack to the film 2012: A Space Odyssey, to a show like Buck Rogers but far more cheesier, and even to a truly engulfing experience plowed over for a distant, slower-pace trippy solo that isn’t really all that great, you’ll find plenty to love and hate from this impressive, yet somewhat frustrating follow-up full-length, such as the fantastic shifts and how even the most gut-wrenching of bland material can often be brought back to the odyssey that started things off. If you have an open mind and are willing to give Climax Community a chance, there’s no doubt Darsombra will satisfy you to the best of their abilities, though sometimes leaving you wishing they had done a little more with the simplest of areas.

01. Roaming the Periphery – 23:17
02. Green – 4:09
03. Thunder Thighs – 18:17
Overall Score: 8/10
Darsombra (band)
Darsombra
Digital review copy of this release provided by Exile on Mainstream Records via Earsplit PR.