After the the recent and rather droney/abstract Movements in Decay and the compilation Presenting the Past (which documented his early industrial roots), Stephen Surreal aka UNUNE offers another impressive album on eg0cide. This new version of the previously self-released Stone Swan Songs (containing alternative mixes and 2 long bonus tracks) could be considered as (one of) the missing link(s) between the two albums mentioned above. It was put together between 2011 / 2013 in 3 locations (apart from the 2 extra tracks) : Loughborough, Stephen’s “nothe home” in the West Highlands of Scotland, & City of Nottingham (where Stephen’s was born and currently lives in.)
Most of the tracks start with distant fuzzy drones and grow slowly, enhanced by many nuances : melancolic melodies played on various instruments, well controlled waves of noise, muffled shouts from some undisclosed hellish locations, hypnotic march-like beats, folkish acoustic strings – but let’s not spoil everything the album has to give…
This is the longest release ever published on eg0cide – and it is getting the longest description we ever wrote. Indeed a 4h21 album is what can be called a long album accordingly to usual standards (this kind of thing is rarely blamed when speaking about the works of academic composers or writers – but that’s another question) but we think this length is totally justified by the richness and vastness of the feelings and ideas that Sir Surreal’s sonic odissey evokes.
As the titles and cover suggest, the overall mood is crepuscular, and even sinister at times – but also majestous and spacious. This music captures perfectly the intrinsic tension of the melancholy of someone who passed through hard times and irreversible losses : in the same time an elegy for what is dead in us and the endless rise of a radiant (although disillusionned) will to live and to create. Fears, hopes, everything must end – that’s the point where we can start from. This takes a whole life . If you are curious of / interested in such insights, please forget these words and immerse yourself in the 261 minutes of Stone Swan Songs. And if while listening you don’t get why we are so found of this album, please try it later, may it be next year or next decade.
Click on the picture to visit the download page on archive.org
Full album download links