GRIMBERGEN: The Passing of Time CD Self released
I couldn’t have thought of a more fitting title myself. Grimbergen, one of the solo projects of Nathan Clemence has been on a self-enforced hiatus for nigh on seven years; after his initial second album, was rejected by the label that spawned his debut, ‘A lonely Place’.
This has actually worked out for the best. In this period, Clemence concentrated his creative output on the noise driven ‘Now Wash Your Hands’. In 2011 efforts were made to get this project back off the ground and the setback has ultimately led to a better album than its predecessor.
‘A Lonely Place’ was a more than competent and enjoyable release, but also one that had its flaws bedded in influences from a steadily stagnating scene, coupled with Nathan’s choice of hardware. Whilst formulating a sound all of his own, this did give a cod sci-fi feel to synth lines that just missed out on being as bombastic as they should have; leaving the project sat without a lift at a musical crossroads, genre wise (a very lonely place indeed).
‘The Passing of Time’ has a natural, organic maturity, which leads to it being a more comfortable listen; and conceptually has a sense of purpose. Genre wise, this still sits on the edges of what he was initially trying to emulate; but benefits from utilising its individuality, rather than faltering into the mire created by an oversaturation of Neo-Folk and Dark Ambient acts, that pathetically stagnate whilst leaning on their right hands.
The Neo-Classical/Dark Ambient scene has a niche following and one that a lot of people simply cannot abide. Grimbergen has here however, produced an album that should interest parties from both sides of the coin; retaining enough for stalwarts not to turn their noses up at, whilst having a form of crossover appeal for those tempted to dip their toes in the water.