Review: Sana Obruent – August

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Sana Obruent (Paul Lopez) has been conjuring dark ambient apparitions for several years now. Using his guitar, he articulates tales of isolate wanderings in realms too surreal for words. He dances, forebodes, and swirls among grey shoegaze-soaked clouds, placing listeners atop aerial vistas from which they can awe at the grandeur of his ghostly creations. His sound is frigid and dense yet ethereal. And with his latest release, August, Paul continues to craft engrossing soundscapes. He escapes to a world of arctic seas teeming with emotion and drenches listeners in its waves of luminous bleakness.

August passes like a phantasmagoric haze. Sepulchral churns, gargantuan and engulfing, enthrall from its opening second to its last. Chilling are the rays that shine from “I”; its towering drones pierce from a cloudless sky as a new day begins to break. They cascade unending solitude. Steady August glides. Nearly unchanged his drones appear in “II”, but they captivate and crush all the same. A gulf rips open; tendrils of sorrow fissure through its space. Timeless August seems to dwell, then tinges of warmth begin to permeate. A melody crackles from the hoarfrost on “III”; a stream of solace pours from “IV”. Tainted with melancholy they become as they percolate into the gulf. August swells into this uncanny amalgam of energy. Brooding and dark it is behind this estuary of energy and light, but delicate and tender it is as it washes over your ears. It’s overwhelming. But so beautiful is its flow, it crystallizes a moment of perfect clarity. Unfettered by time, what remains of August feels like a dream.

When August whisks away, the feelings it stirred will sublimely elude you. That reservoir of indelible clarity will run dry and it will leave you undoubtedly speechless. It’s sincerely too complex to capture the way August coalesces such potent emotion in words. But once it ends, all you’ll want is to be swooned back into its seas.

******

You can grab one of five remaining August cassettes over at the Blackjack Illuminist Records Bandcamp page. Be sure to support Sana Obruent by liking his Facebook page, following him on Twitter, or purchasing digital copies of his other records on his primary artist Bandcamp page.

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