Scott Hull


Written by: EW on 02/09/2008 00:04:52

On a distant plane from most of the reviews I conduct for Rockfreaks, and certainly in a galaxy far far away from the usual assault on your ears that Scott Hull conducts as member of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer and other pleasantries, comes "Requiem", by far the calmest and most luscious album you'll see reviewed on Rockfreaks in 2008, nay, ever. You see, "Requiem" is so relaxing and soothing it makes my usual album of choice for those rare moments I crave something, err, relaxing and soothing, Opeth's "Damnation", seem a veritable whirlwind of hatred, misanthropy and blasphemy. I may well have dosed off to its subtle ambient melodies during some of my "Requiem" listens, but I guessed it could well have been my brain closing down in confusion as to what it was being subjected to, and so I carry on nonetheless.

The promo sheet from Relapse accompanying this release states "File under: Soundtrack / Ambient", and you can certainly see where the 'soundtrack' suggestion comes from, as this record would translate delightfully to periods of calm tranquility and joyful weightless in a movie of peace and solitude, where the saddest thing to happen would be one of the fluffy bunnies bounding through the swaying grass stumbling over a dandelion, before continuing his journey to find more happy bunnies. Okay, there are moments where the tension is increased, such as the opening to "In Paradisum Deducant Te Angeli" or "Morte Sul Treno". These would clearly accompany the terrifying bunny-tripping scene, but largely "Requiem" is wondrously bright and delicate, emitting the sounds of impending springtime - warmth, light and optimism - after a long, dark winter. "Santificato (En Titles)", "Shootout", "La Bocca Del Cielo" are all so gorgeous that, sitting back thinking of the similarities to ambient godfather Brian Eno, everything in life seems just, great. Whether it is really intended as one long 40 minute piece rather than the 11 individual tracks it comes in is worth wondering, as in its present state the stylistic changes from song to song limit the album's flow whereas one continuous track would have not suffered such a problem. This is a relatively minor drawback against much positive to say about what "Requiem" offers.

As you may gathered I am pleased to have picked up this record and let its energy filter through me, as all I currently knew of similar to it is a highly recommendable Brian Eno record ("Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks"). But I find myself wondering what its ambitions are: did Relapse release it purely as a side-project of one of their contracted artists to stop someone else releasing it or are they hoping to make something of "Requiem"? Most extreme Metalheads aren't going to be too moved by it, I'm sure, and whilst my knowledge of the ambient music world is slim to none, I am pessimistic for its chances of making a splash in it. But this is good; for music should not be made and released only with a potential audience in mind but for the artistic desires of its creator - otherwise "Requiem" would probably never have seen the light of day.

Hard to award a mark given the circumstances, but one of the records I'd most recommend to you in 2008, if not for the bravery in its creation as much as the feelings garnered through its playback. Scott Hull's "Requiem" is so touchingly soft and calm that it just had to be released by someone in a band called Pig Destroyer didn't it?


Download: La Bocca Del Cielo, In Paradisum Deducant Te Angeli, Shootout
For The Fans Of: Brian Eno, Goblin, Tangerine Dream
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date: 16.06.08
Relapse Records

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