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Album Review: Is it Stone or Statue(2021) by Gwizidor

Solo artist Gwizidor’s debut album was published on the 10th of October 2021. The album is pretty dark and experimental, just like one would expect from its album cover. The tracks are dominated by the synthesizer, and the dreary/mysterious vocals put the listener on edge…

Solo artist Gwizidor’s debut album was published on the 10th of October 2021. The album is pretty dark and experimental, just like one would expect from its album cover. The tracks are dominated by the synthesizer, and the dreary/mysterious vocals put the listener on edge.

It’s hard to put the mood of the album into words, though we talked about each track in detail in our track-by-track review.

1. Raygun

The first track of the album opens with a heavy, fuzz-driven guitar riff and is immediately followed by soft guitar strumming and vocals. While the intention is definitely to set the feel for the album from the beginning of the first track, the song turns to the opposite side to continue in the way of 60s proto-rock style music. Although all the instruments sound equally mixed on the track, the vocals feel a little bit too close to the listener’s eye. The canterbury-ish guitar riff then is played with the distortion to build up for an early finale, while you get a strong glimpse of what the album is going to deliver with the upcoming songs. A good opener track overall.

2. The Coming of the Horde

The Coming of the Horde reminds the listener of the dark music found in space-related sci-fi movies with its extensive use of the synthesizer. The narration in the first twenty seconds adds to this atmosphere, and at certain intervals, high-pitched sound effects come into play. However, the repeating simple rhythm remains the same in the background. This experimental piece does an okay job of establishing an almost irritating yet captivating tone, but the melody is a bit stagnant. Adding more variation to the rhythm may improve the track melodically, and making use of the intriguing narration that appears at the start throughout the song can make the track more interesting.

3. Seagrass

A very delay-driven track, Seagrass uses various musical voices to become an eclectic highlight of the album. After the introduction of the synth-voices, the entry of the highly digitally played drums and later the guitars resemble a sound that is similar to the early periods of Black Sabbath. However, the delayed guitar and slide guitars take the experimental track to a whole new dimension. The Floydian atmosphere crosses over with the Sabathian feel of the vocals and chordal tonality to create a well-rounded experimental piece for this winner album.

4. Don’t Blink

The fourth track starts with another repeating slow rhythm accompanied by vocals, which are quite emotionless and monotone. The synth melody comes right after the vocals, and provides some musical satisfaction to the listener, though for a short time. The static noises that come and go sporadically throughout the track (and during the other tracks) sound as if they’re coming from the artwork of the album, which seems to be a mechanical bee. Another musical part of the track starts at 2:15, when the drums take the spotlight for a short time, accompanied by a simple acoustic guitar riff. This part doesn’t last long either, going back to the techno sounds and vocals that repeat “Don’t you blink” ominously.

5. Wet Footsteps

This may be to the song in which we had a chance to hear the full packet of electronic and futuristic influences of Gwizidor. While the synth sound is directly taken from 00s Tupac tracks, the note selections are from an eastern scale that has space in between notes to help create the SciFi feel. Like the Ryo scale creating an atmosphere that resembles vast valleys, this combination is well done in that the vastness turns into fearfully Lovecraft’ian space and existential fear. Just like you are stepping your wet foot into somewhere that wasn’t meant to be stepped on, the sounds feel just like the reflections of these footsteps that you tend to remain silent.

6. Sign of the Sword

The sixth track is significantly different from the others: it features a different rhythmic structure in the start, it’s more upbeat due to the synthesizer, the vocals are constantly in the foreground and don’t fade out intermittently, and the context sounds different as well. While the other tracks were more ominous, dark, and techno, this track has an almost old tone to it due to the higher-pitched sounds from the synthesizer. The vocals could be improved, as the tone is still a bit too dull for this piece. But overall, this short track provides a different air to the album.

7. Warbling Wizard

The closer of this 7 track hidden gem doesn’t disappoint with its closer. Weird Eastern scales are now combined with some weird tech sounds and guitar loops. Probably ”weird” would be the word that sums up the music of Gwizidor. Just like the music itself, the last track finishes unexpectedly, leaving the audience unsatisfied and uneasy. The signature of the artist.

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