Lustre, Blossom, Sweden, Nordvis Produktion, CD digipak NVP019 (2015)
Lustre is a Swedish one-man project specialising in rhythmic dark ambient / atmospheric black metal comfort music that rarely changes from one release to the next in spite of a large discography that includes five albums and several EPs and splits with other artists. The fifth,”Blossom”, starts promisingly and for a moment I almost start hyperventilating, sure that my personal deity has finally answered my prayers and directed Nachtzeit, the man behind Lustre, to break out of his own comfort zone and do something a little different with his Lustre project, like add some live instrumentation to the synths running on autopilot or switch to laptop glitch-electronics instead of the synths running on autopilot. For a brief while, the music echoes my hopes: it seems bright and hopeful, in a subdued sort of way, and the cold space tones have an air of wonder about them.
The steely acid guitar noise shower and the relentless mechanical percussion beats kick in, and from then on the Lustre machine is in full operation. I watch out for moments where the machine takes a break and the only thing present is the cold wintry ambience through which odd stray tones and fragile melodies might be caught like rabbits on the road staring at the headlights of the oncoming semi-trailer that will send the bunnies straight to Carrot Heaven. It is in the melodies and the atmosphere that Nachtzeit exercises some real creativity: admittedly when they’re repeated over and over the tunes become New Age banal but at least for a few rotations they have a cool sharp jewel-like edge to them and even sound a bit chilling and alien.
In this respect, the best track of this set is Part 3 which features extended passages of all-synth tone wash and drone, with very minimal guitar or percussion accompaniment. Part 4 is not too bad though the ongoing bass droning is heavy for the more delicate melodies and quivery tones. The ambience of this track could have been changed to give the music more of a clear, sharp and fresh-sounding edge.
This album is very monotonous and repetitive, and could do with editing for length. I don’t find Lustre recordings at all hypnotic and absorbing as they are intended to be, probably because the rhythms and beats are so heavy, clunky and laborious. The good music that is present is drowned out by clunk and repetition that renders everything it comes across into kitsch and banality.