28 Jan 2021 - Pat O'
Have you ever experienced a time when you are drawn to an album for the first time and it’s not by the music, because you have yet to hear it? You find yourself pulled in by either the thought-provoking artwork, or it may be the unsettling album title that has struck a chord with you. It’s that feeling of warmth and excitement that sweeps over you when you finally sit down and bask in the glory of what tweaked your curiosity, and proved a masterstroke. This album gave me all of that.
The sombre, bleak and misty photograph along with the downcast album title had me captivated immediately. I love my music melancholic and emotive, dark and almost uncomfortable. I found that in this release by Felperc, an artist who hails from Vienna, Austria. He informed me that Inspiration was channeled from the music of Yndi Halda and that alone was enough justification to spend a dark winters evening in the company of this album.
“Five Stages of Grief” is a concept album, and a soundtrack to how we come to terms with something we all must face at some stage in our lives, Loss. The opening track and the first of five stages is “Denial”. It begins with a slow subdued intro, with a sullen beat and forlorn keys, gradually building with the introduction of delicate guitars and moody bass. It slowly gathers momentum until the first crescendo cascades in and overwhelms you with soaring guitars and crashing drums.
Stage two – “Anger” has the same structure as “denial”, but the build-up has more aggression and tension, just as the title suggests. It’s still pouring out emotion and melancholy, but with a bit more intent. This music is truly elevating. Even through such a dark and often taboo theme, there’s something incredibly uplifting and comforting in its delivery here.
Stage three – “Bargaining” begins with lush guitar picking, and a prominent bass line that takes the lead and drives the music to that all so familiar crescendo. However, it’s the warmth and honesty in the melody that sets it apart. Swirling guitars, heavy bass licks and rapid firing drums fill the air and see out the track.
Stage 4 – “Depression” begins with a distorted bass chord played over some clean guitar melodies, and is soon joined by a myriad of drums. Pace gathers and resounding drums begin to race along at speed, creating a moment where the music just let’s go and doesn’t follow structure. This album is so well thought out and executed that it almost becomes a story. You become entranced and deeply immersed in it.
Stage five – “Acceptance” is the mind finally accepting things as they are, and somehow finding comfort and solace, This track is all of that. The guitars are calm and serene like a passage taken from “Old Solar’s” album “See”. Then music pauses….and restarts with a glint of positivity on the horizon, a slight shift in thinking, that conjures up this great wall of sound that lifts the spirit with its soaring guitars and elevates the listener to one last glorious moment before, alas, the music fades out into the far distant light. The sorrow remains but it’s not all as dark as it once was. Felperc has a huge discography, and I must admit, I have yet to delve into his world fully. This album simply resonated with me at first glance while roaming through Bandcamp, and I’m so glad I got the chance to hear it and feel it. Many bands out there are doing this style of music like Sleep Dealer and April Rain. Its emotive, heartfelt, instrumental post rock and there’s definitely a time and place for it. There are so many great artists out there to be discovered, it’s just that sometimes you just need to do a little bit of rummaging to find the gems.