The Katechon is a biblical concept linked to the idea of the end times and the Antichrist, an eschatological term used even in political philosophy by Carl Schmitt discussing the power of the Holy Roman Empire; something that restrains the manifestation of the son of the devil in our temporal world, with little irony an idea used to preserve the political power of the not very holy empire. So the name Antikatechon could only evoke something devious and dark, something going against the imposed idea of holiness, something in another kind of time and space with a different perception of things to come, and a different approach to human memories.
This is a very apt name for the dark ambient project of Davide Del Col, which now offers us his fifth album called I feel nothing but repulsion (published by Rage in eden), an album composed of five eerie long tracks that, despite the name of the work, inspire us dread and a melancholic fascination instead of a violent sense of scorn. Melancholy, noisy soundscapes, piano keys, low-tuned guitars, drone sequences (courtesy of Justin Wright aka Expo 70) and hypnotic loops are the tools of the trade here used, crafting a world where personal suggestions and dreamlike motifs guide us in a dark journey of the soul.
The epitome of ingratitude welcomes us with its sombre dark ambient, putting the idea of time-stretching in music format: it gives us a crawling movement which then develops in a more “melodic” field recordings sound with distant dreamy keys. This is an apt start for the work we’re reviewing, creating a certain kind of mood subsequently kept in other tracks; And all my dreams, torn asunder opens with dramatic piano keys soon followed by a static feedback, adding layers of ambient effects while a crescendo reaches an almost post-punk sound. At three minutes and a half the noise elements take control in a majestic wave that reminds us of instrumental post-rock, and sampled dialogues work like distant memories made music. The track ends in a more heartfelt movement, where piano keys return with their classical taste.
The titletrack follows suit with a majestic feedback full of reverberation, giving us an acid and psychedelic movement that engulfs us in a sea of shamanic atmosphere, before it implodes in an epic guitar-driven orchestration (reminding us of some of the more evocative of the The Fragile-era Trent Reznor). Once again the end shows a change of peace returning to static noise, reminding us of the abrupt changes of mood in a tormented soul. From defeat to disintegration starts with a vintage sound which evokes 70’s eerie sounds, while a percussive loop grows in the background taking ground: piano keys and factory-like noises give us an antithesis full of mesmerizing torment, a crescendo completed by shrieking violins in an ecstatic finale.
The smell of a dying savior ends the journey with severe post punk low-tuned guitars, picturing desolation in music format, while ambient elements enrich the evocative and slow building returning to field recording motifs and the usage of reverberations and dissonant chords; a loop drowned in a decadent, swamp-like atmosphere, guiding us to the inevitable turn wherein things go abruptly in a nosier and darker direction which reminds us of Lustmord‘s “cosmic” dark ambient. The end is marked by a more ethereal, but not less menacing, sound enriched by a primordial and resolute soundscape where inquisitive keys generate the image of a cathedral lost in the mist of consciousness.
Not a feral work, but the product of past-time-desperation fueled disillusion became melancholic coldness, a music piece made of changes in music directions and atmospheres which reminds us of moods, thoughts, distorted feelings and the recall of bad experiences. A cathartic experience which will be enjoyed by the lovers of dark and evocative ambient music, a work following a coherent path without repeating itself (a danger always present in this kind of music), creating by music a plot-less and wordless narrative.
Label: Rage in eden