December Hung Himself – Perseidi

December Hung Himself are a duo from Cagliari, Italy that play a mixture of dark ambient and post-rock. This mini-album is their second release.

The album opens with some low-end rumbling sounds. Dark, gray tones enter and the rumbling takes on a metallic texture. Then field recordings of footsteps in the woods come in and some faint watery sounds can be heard in the distance.

The next track quickly comes in with a sparse, bell-like melody and a slow-moving guitar feedback drone. The distant watery sounds come back along with a scraping, screeching drone in the background. More bell-like melody is woven in, drums enter, and the drone changes a bit before moving into the third track.

The third track begins with a shifting drone that descends and ascends, leaving the listener with a feeling of free fall. There are some pulsating electronic sounds that gradually become louder. High-pitched skittering electronics come in along with a low-end metallic drone, volume increases are used, then I hear some wind-like sounds and everything becomes quite noisy. The track closes out with some very low rumbling and more high skittering sounds.

Track four opens with more wind, low distorted rumbles, and a quiet, but identifiable guitar melody. As the track progresses, a feedback drone floats over the melody, distorted rumbles rise in volume, all while keeping the tiny, quiet melody in place.

The next track comes in with a pretty, echoing guitar melody. Drones are in the background again, but a layer of piano-like melody is added this time. Then, I hear a distorted guitar riff enter the picture very faintly, which continues until the track is over.

The sixth and final track is the climax of the album. It starts with backwards loops and some watery sounds, then a percussive, metallic bell-like melody emerges with a screeching drone as underpinning. This drone becomes louder until a guitar melody comes into the foreground. As the track moves forward, piano and low strings come in. Then, after a sudden and very brief pause, the track changes character entirely and explodes into a driving techno beat with chiming guitars floating on top. Very low-bass lines enter and the track ends with some electronic snare-like percussion.

Overall, I am impressed with this album though it seems like the band has only given me a taste of what they are capable of. I’d like to see how they evolve over subsequent releases and what they might do on a longer full-length album. I respect that they didn’t go for cheap dark ambient clichés or try to use a generic template from well-worn sub-genres.  This is a challenging release that is also an enjoyable listen. I’d recommend this to fans of more abstract post-rock bands and dark ambient fans that are looking for something different.

Perseidi is available as a digital download from Bandcamp or as a limited cassette release from Personal Escape Records.

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