As I mentioned in the review of Aspectee's debut EP, Aspectee is a solo-project that begun in '08. "Morben" is Aspectee's debut full-lenght from 2009.
The few first things I noticed were that the album has a more fleshy, deep and original soundscape than the Espe-EP, and that it's quite a difficult album to get to know well. For the first couple of listens the album seemed like it's trying to make me want to keep myself from listening to it, but a few more listens later it allowed me to get to explore and to know it's world.
I sense something very monumental from this album. It's built from various dark but peaceful and seemingly simplistic layers of sound. The actual flesh on these bones consists of various sound samples, dronings, noisy screeches, grumbles, rumbles and even eerie electronics that vary quite a lot from each other. It's these parts that give the album it's distinct nature; the songs have a really basic "backdrop" made of simplistic and calmly progressing electronic synth waves, that are topped with varying sounds that last for some time, and then change to another and another during the same track; this way the songs remain true to their structure, but still manage to go through a huge deal of variation in mood, style and the different parts' emphases. For example, "betho et" has some distorted electronic drones on top of a dark, humming and waving sound in it's beginning, but towards the end the drone makes way for some metal clanging and distorted speaking samples, which then make way for some lighter synths. It all ties together in a way that's difficult to comprehend.
The odd thing is that the changes during the tracks don't sound forced. They have their own unique progress, and even though it might be almost impossible to make out at first, it'll eventually come clear that there's often a sense of purpose behind the songs. The songs might go "from A to C" so to speak, but there is a logic behind it and it's all done in a relatively natural fashion. I must still say that this is not an easy album, its actually more of an introvert one. The album starts to loosen it's grip and lighten it's demanding nature during "leanon," though, and it's follow-up "unwic" is a peaceful and pretty simplistic, dare I say traditional ambient track with a peaceful and calm nature. It's a very easy listen after the previous tracks, and it's nature gives it a whole new and deeper meaning due to it's context. It might be that just when one listens to the last track s/he'll realize how much "information" just passed through his/her ears during the album.
This album is a heavy one to listen to, but it doesn't push its value down per se as the album doesn't stop being rewarding even after numerous listens; I'm just not sure if it'll ever open up completely (and the surprising cover arts won't likely help in it either). The artist seems to have found a new or at least a very original way to execute dark ambient soundscapes, and for that I salute him. He clearly didn't choose the easy route, and has managed to develop his style and add a good dose of variation to it while still creating a pretty solid album with it's own distinct atmosphere and feel. Nonetheless it can be heard that the soundscape and the artist's ways are still in development, and for example some of the sounds sound too "easy" and usual when combined with some more unique sounds with more detail, and this adds a bit of a mixed feel to some songs. I think this kind of variation might've been caused by the artist wanting to lighten up the mood a bit every now and then, but this could've been achieved with more fitting sounds or by shortening the album's lenght.
In short: worth checking out to anyone who's looking for something new, challenging or just interesting within dark ambient and other darker arts. One can only wonder how the artist will live up to the expectations for his next release.