Review: (DOLCH) “III – Songs of Happiness, Words of Praise”

Review: (DOLCH) “III – Songs of Happiness, Words of Praise”

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(DOLCH) “III – Songs of Happiness, Words of Praise”
Ván Records

I know absolutely fuck all about (DOLCH), apart from the fact that they are from Germany, if Bandcamp is to be believed… But when this album started, I thought they were from another planet completely.

Bypass the spoken word speech and weird as hell (trumpet and kettle drum?) intro and track 3, which should really be track 1 (on earth), The River, is thankfully, stunning.

It’s semi ambient, semi Black Metal, drifting off into a psychedelic haze of dark occult shenanigans of the very highest order. If Dead Can Dance where occultists, they’d probably sound like this.

From there, it drifts into Siren, which meshes a dark ambient trance with a blacker than black, Gothic Doom… the lilting female vocals are utterly seductive and this album has gone from bloody weird, to sublimely hypnotic.

How do people make music that is so dark, yet so beautiful?

Next, we have Hydroxytryptamin Baby I which is hauntingly claustrophobic, followed by the 14 second, Track Six.. which is 14 seconds of applause and a backwards message, that you can only hear the correct way around, via the vinyl version…

Which just leaves the 18 minute finale, 100000 Days. Which takes up about half of the album, and probably one side of the vinyl version.

It’s more of the same as it weaves its magic, with the occasional Black Metal tonal intrusions, buried deep in the mix, the only diversions from the stark beauty of the (main) song. The only downside is that is ends with about 10 or so minutes of muffled/windswept droning, when the listener really deserves another full song.

(Dolch) are a new band to me, so over the Christmas period, I’ll be exploring their back catalogue and even if it’s only half as good as this, I’ll be very pleased indeed.

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