Can you ever be truly Alone when you have 2 l’s? Deep and complicated question to ponder but thankfully the music may well provide some answers and this is not a solo project but the work of a London based duo, Polish musician A.K. also of Praesepe and UK artist P.K. Despite the fact there are 4 lengthy tracks here this was an instant like for me on first play through and an album that I knew I wanted to have and treasure whilst working through it and trying to determine exactly what I had before me. Bordering somewhere between atmospheric doom and blackness it is the incredibly skilful long and mesmerising guitar parts that drew like a moth to a flame and really warmed me to this debut album and first work by Allone. Aesthetic Death have delivered some treasured obscurity here once again but should I have expected anything less from the label?
We start with Alone With Everybody Part 1 and solemn sluggish tones that are quite austere and foreboding in a near doom death fashion. P.K.s vocals come in with a touch of cleanliness about them and sorrowfully croon away in line with the music. It is worth noting that lyrically we are in the hands of favourite literary drunken misanthropist Charles Bukowski, a perfect muse and inspiration. The production sparkles, every note clear and precise there is little in the way of dirt and grit here as the track rolls away on the back of the drums. With A Challenge To The Dark those superb guitar harmonies take over, the textures here are reminiscent of both Opeth (pre prog wankery) and Shining Sweden and absolutely gorgeous taking the music in a sideways direction. The Praesepe influence is also present and reminds me I need to go back and give them another listen too. It does sound somewhat Swedish and despite the gentleness of the music is beautifully moribund and dark with it. Some almost Bauhausian choral aspects linger in this eldritch darkness and they were actually supplied by Alexandros of The One and Macabre Omen; that guy certainly gets around. The main vocals then arrive and are much raspier than previously suiting the more blackened vibe of the overall sound which has elements of everyone (Swede) from Dissection, Sacramentum and Lord Belial. Alone With Everybody Part 2 starts with a gorgeous acoustic guitar pattern that is straight out of Gothenburg and would fit in with work of many a treasured melodeath band from there. This diverts into a more full-bodied workout and vigour from the drums as trollish sounding vocals gurgle and memorable hooks and melody take hold. Those who love their music to meander will be very much in the element here as this does so with plenty of depth and substance along with the nihilism of Bukowski for over 12 minutes. It’s completely captivating with it and doesn’t get stale in the slightest.
With 11 minute instrumental Ruins at the end you can witness just how well these musicians work together without distraction and you seriously shouldn’t find the lack of vocals here as barrier as it speaks via the guitar and has plenty of distinction as well as voice and heart. This is a great starting point for Allone and once heard they won’t be for much longer as far as fans of their music are concerned. Anyway you don’t need to listen to me, find out yourself listening to the album at the Bandcamp link below.
(8/10 Pete Woods)