Three demos, a split, and a couple of EP's, compilation parttakes and full-lenght releases isn't a bad feat to be done in two years. As of now, June 2010, this is the latest release from this Drone Doom one-man-band, and possibly also the most "officially" made and released one.
The band's style hasn't really changed since the Rend-EP from last year; the really raw, even sharp and distorted guitar sound is still the band's main- and the most original element, and it's backed by some rather minimal synth work. The music is very minimal and slow-paced; a single note can carry on for tens of seconds, and the songs don't really progress forward as much as they just flow around in a rather improvised vein. The artist seems to have quite a bit of self-confidence in what he does, as even though the songs sound improvised they still have a really natural flow and don't fumble. The artist knows the soundscape, meaning that he knows how far he can push one note, how much weight he can put on it and how long he can stretch it, and how to keep the soundscape interesting despite it's minimalism. There are some "too strong" notes and even a bit of a simple and repetitive riff here and there to keep up the listener's interest.
As I said, the used guitar sound is very raw and unpolished. The artist seems to have just the right recording equipment, as he manages to capture the sounds' rawness and depth. This is not lo-fi, this is just good-quality rawness. The raw soundscape might be too heavy for one's ears for a this long time, but it's luckily balanced with some fittinly minimal and quite clear-sounding synth-work. You can't hear them too often, but when you do their simple echoed sound is really pleasing to the ears. On the song "Courting Leviathan" the synths in it's short mid-part seem to follow the riff heard just before the synth-part, which makes the synths even more fitting. I can only applause. The synths are occasionally backing the riffs to soften the soundscape just a bit and to make it more fleshy, and luckily the synths are so back in the mix in these parts that they don't do any damage to the guitars in the process. The synths could sound really dull if used on their own, but on this particular album they're really fitting.
When a full-lenght album costs only 9AUD (6 euros), there isn't much justification for complains about the cover arts. I personally think that the light colourscape looks really refreshing, and gives the release a lot of it's unique character along with the cover image itself (even if it's very sadly re-used on every single page of the release). There's not much to see in the one-page booklet, but the quote from Book of Job found there is a nice reading to accompany the overwhelming soundscape.
The artist achieved a great deal with very bare and minimalistic elements. "Courting Leviathan" is an album with a personal, really raw but in a way calm atmosphere, and the artist seems to have found his own way of working on and with his music. If you need to escape from the real world, I can once again warm-heartedly recommend this album (and band) to you. Just one huge minus-point is given to the band due to the fourth, five minutes long track, as it sounds really unfinished and seems to be put together in a hurry. The band could also spend some extra time on refining the synth sound to make it contribute a bit more to the songs, but otherwise there isn't too much room for complaints. This man knows how to put together a quality track, he knows what he's doing. For fans of Drone Doom, raw and overwhelming soundscapes, and minimalism.