25 Jan 2022
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Magnalith - Single Review: Intimacy's End

27 Jan 2021 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Magnalith is the brain child of Mathew Bosher (Decortica, Domes). Intimacy's End is a two-and-a-half minute monster mixed by Dave Holmes (Jakob, Saint Agnes, Maisha).
Bosher recorded pieces of the track in a ballroom, a former food 
processing plant and even a 500-tonne lightship.
The pair might have identified something special about recording on boats, since in the past they've also recorded on a moored heritage ship.

Going above and beyond in search for unique rooms has served them in more than just kooky recording stories. Intimacy's End is absolutely transfixing. To give you an idea, here's what I wrote to myself in my notes after the first couple of times I listened:

"I can barely focus my brain enough to process what I'm experiencing into words and articulate what I like about it, there's so much going on that my frontal lobe is getting overridden every time I listen to it. I'll have to really hammer it till it starts to get boring enough that I can focus my thoughts into what I'm actually hearing rather than just feeling it."

Coming to grips with the song, I was reminded of the soaring theatrics of Devin Townsend accompanied in certain areas by the skewed perspectives of Danny Elfman, the emotive expression of A Perfect Circle, the cold piano tone of The Exorcist theme song, and some of the modal mixtures favoured by Muse, all over a sonic setting that felt like something out of Dune.

It's so edifying to get to listen to a short prog track. All those juicy changes and sonic railroading genre tangents condensed into an experience even my burnt out attention span can't turn away from for a second of its run time. Keep an eye out for the full EP coming out in April.
Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Magnalith

Magnalith is dense but concise, expressionistic but corporeal music. Tangentially metal, curiously harmonic, the forthcoming EP is a convulsive listen. Unbridled structural deviations see handbrake slides into weird, cinematic passages that lurch back into leviathan riffs.

Brevity does not constrain the expansiveness of the three tracks. Experimental vignettes, conceptual lyricism, pathos and sagacious mixing by Dave Holmes (Jakob, Saint Agnes, Maisha) lend to the fantastical but humanistic atmosphere. The effect is bursts of contemplative, layered composition to capture the imagination of progressive metal/rock fans.

Recorded in historic and hideaway places in Auckland, New Zealand then mixed remotely through UK lockdown—re-amping the guitars and bass through vintage gear locally—this was an international collaboration of audiophiles. Bosher gathered three engineer friends from across his career to undertake sections of the production. Work began at The Lab below Mt Eden’s Crystal Palace Theatre in the storied ballroom popular in the 1920s (later a cabaret room). Capturing the kinetic energy of the drums on the Neve console helped to create the foundational tank tread of the EP’s heft. The team moved to makeshift spaces for other instrumentation and the material then shipped to the UK to be re-assembled within a 500-tonne lightship and then an ex-food processing plant. The record is a result greater than the sum of its parts in the pandemic post-production context.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Magnalith

Releases

Instrumentality
Year: 2021
Type: EP

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