Darling Adharma

Written by: BV on 20/09/2013 19:00:11

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of reviewing a split release featuring The Road to Suicide and Spökraket and I enjoyed it to such an extent that it left me craving more. As luck would then have it, I recently stumbled upon the fact that Spökraket have recently released a full-length titled “Darling Adharma”. Throughout its 88 minutes, this double album takes the listener through some ‘older’ material that was previously released on the split, as well as some brand new tracks that follow in the same stylistic direction.

However, by saying the ‘same’ direction I might have oversimplified things a bit. Spökraket seem to live by the mantra “Repetition Will Save Your Life” –therefore it may not come as a surprise to the observant reader that most of these tracks are long running drones that, in lack of a better term, might become a bit too repetitive for most people. That is especially true for the opening track “Like Regular Chickens” which, with its tremolo guitar and simple melody line goes on to last nearly 12 minutes. Now, there’s a fine line distinguishing tasteful, psychedelic repetition from the downright excessive and uninteresting type of repetition. This borderland, the fine line if you will, is one that sees Spökraket constantly skipping back and forth, delicately toying with the boundaries to pinpoint exactly where the line is drawn.

On the good old acquaintance “Climb So High” (which was also released on the split with RTS) the balancing pays off as the track neither comes off as unresolved, nor uninteresting despite being what some might call an excessive long runner. This might be due to the sheer simplicity of the drone that constantly teases the listener by giving shallow promises of a grand conclusion, some epic climax. Despite never actually delivering a climax per se, this track goes on to become a fine example of a well-executed drone track that keeps the listener on his/her toes – thus ensuring that, even though there is a certain lack of payoff, the listener is satisfied with the piece in itself. Equally so in “The Gospel According to George Epstein”, where the piece is elevated to a sort of uplifting verse/chorus/verse format with some extremely distorted instrumental passages in between that show both nerve, dazzling authenticity and a flair for dynamic changes in a genre that is basically fueled by the art of repetition.

However, Spökraket do not fare as well on “Ode to Pharmacy” as the melody is missing, instead replaced by glooming ambience, a haunting oscillation effect lurking in the background and a general brick wall of sound that, despite tempo changes and a general sense of development, never really gets a hold of me as it simply lingers for far too long in contrast to what the build-up eventually leads to.

In conclusion I would have to say that an album length of approximately 88 minutes is far too ambitious for an album of drones. Had the release been two separate ones I might have fallen head-over-heels in love. However, given the coupling of the extensive runtime and the repetitive nature of the album I would say that I’ve had my fill somewhere between 45-50 minutes into the album, essentially lulling my otherwise great interest for drones to sleep. “Darling Adharma” has a selection of strong tracks in the genre, that’s for sure. But this album would have been a far better, far more immersive experience if something like 30 minutes had been shaven off the album to subsequently be released at a later time.


Download: Climb So High, Repetition Will Save Your Life, The Gospel According to George Epstein
For The Fans Of: The Road to Suicide, Telstar Sound Drone, Technicolor Poets
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.09.2013
Raum Eins Records

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