NORMAN WESTBERG: The All Most Quiet LP Hallow Ground
Here we have the latest solo release from legendary SWANS guitarist, Norman Westberg. As with all his work outside the mighty act fronted by Michael Gira, this is a somewhat quieter affair (sort of).
The opening title track to this two-song (but lengthy) album; plays on high-end drones and resonating hums, layered into throbbing ambient mass. As a gradual ascension, this works well in holding the listener steadfast and engaged to completion.
In contrast, side B comprises of an altogether different affair with ‘Sound 2’. For me this is reminiscent of the background filler work; that goes into the glue at the seams of many a SWANS track. As such, this does fail to ignite any emotion, with it not being part of any greater being of substance. It takes nearly half the song to kick into its own, before a sea of blissful ambient closes the show.
As such, this does knock the scoring on this release. Westberg is an undeniable talent, but does seem to ponder too long on areas of songs when they’re at their most uninspiring; rather than concentrate his efforts on the sections that are at their most beautiful. Either way, this is a solid and stable affair overall.