Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Atomos (2014)

Album #2 for A Winged Victory For The Sullen arrived three years after their debut, and saw Dustin O'Halloran and Stars Of The Lid's Adam Wiltzie refine their sound just a little in this gorgeous hour-long suite that was commissioned for a dance work.  Each track is simply numbered Atomos I - XII (with no IV), with the ten minute first part virtually comprising a suite in itself, moving through a droning intro to more animated string arrangements, to the first major feature of O'Halloran on piano, to a languid close.

The fully-intergrated orchestral sweep of AWVFTS continues to separate them from Wiltzie's previous project, such as on the aching melancholy of Atomos II, and O'Halloran's piano work continues to be thing of plaintive beauty from Atomos III onward.  My only negative on Atomos is that there ought to be more of O'Halloran on piano - but the particularly lovely Atomos IX is worth waiting for.

The major progression from the self-titled album is more of an electronic tinge, given centre stage at the outset of Atomos V before the orchestration takes over, and in the middle section of Atomos VI - wonder if their association with Robert Rath's Erased Tapes stable had anything to do with it?  There's more subtle sound effects too, in Atomos IX and X.  In any case, this album is another knockout from an inspired duo who hopefully have several more still to come.


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