If I’ve read this right, this album is an antidote to the valueless world we live in, and a return to a world of innocence, if such a thing existed of course. The therefore appropriately titled “Still Innocence” is Sweden’s one man project Lustre’s sixth album, not to mention a host of EPs and splits.
The ambience of the opener “Dreaded Still” has an outer-worldly ring with its pure symphonic sound of bells. It’s hypnotic but not adventurous. In fact it’s monotone, and after six and a half minutes I’d had enough. There is a gloom about it, and I had to think of the instrumental output of October Falls, Tenhi and Burzum, which kind of knocks the innocence out of it. This is described as “ambient black metal”. Without doubt there’s a force of nature in there, which stifles the idea of humanity. “Nestle Within” plods on as “Dreaded Still” had done. I suppose this is a return to an untarnished age. It’s pleasant enough to listen to, and patient but mechanical. Interestingly “Nestle Within” has a rhythm not unlike the song “Lambada”, which itself is a joyous affair, but I’m sure this is not deliberate and it’s certainly more serious and melancholic. Sweeping electronic sounds end the track, and heighten the mood. This then runs into “Let Go Like Leaves of Fall”. Its delicate tone does indeed recall fluttering leaves. With gloom goes spiritual beauty but it’s of a kind where the scene stands still, which does not make for exciting listening. “Reverence Road” then plods its way through another magical soundscape, giving nothing away in spite of its 10 minute journey. Changes or perhaps better put, transformations are subtle. So too “Without End” is repetitious if bejewelled affair. And of course it does have and end, but I get the point, which is represented throughout, that this is a timeless existence.
Without question “Still Innocence” takes us away from our everyday world. I felt calm at the end of listening to this hypnotically repetitive work, whose inspiration is clearly nature and its wonders. Purity is presented in accomplished fashion. But don’t expect an adrenaline rush if you decide to enter the world of Lustre.
(7/10 Andrew Doherty)