My hand hovered dangerously close to the “skip” button as “The Weight of Dreams Against the Harsh Wisdom of the World, Part 1,” the short opening track of Misdreamt’s Apophenia, hissed and gurgled its way out of my speakers at me. My eyes rolled. Another dark ambient outing full of, well, hissing and gurgling. Then the track changed and lo, there was guitar, which suggested something more interesting. Suggested. Because while this four-part piece pairs dark atmospherics with guitar, said guitar spends its entire time sounding like the beginning to every deeply thoughtful Metallica song you’ve ever heard–without ever wanting to leap to something further. The mix of elements isn’t bad; the guitar work, while sort of standard metal-issue fingerpicking, is solid, and the atmospheres are appropriately dark and mysterious. But the lack of forward movement wears thin in short order and the work overall never feels like it wants more from itself. For me, things didn’t get much better from there, nor do they get much different. “Contemplation of the Dust” is more of the same in a different chord, and the two-part “Shadows Remain” gets little more than a shrug.
Available from the Misdreamt Bandcamp page.