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Review of Heliacal Shimmers Haunted Wood

Heliacal Shimmer is a one man noise project from Florida, recently on Alar of  Waste records a double album called "Haunted Wood" was released by this project. What first caught my eye was the packaging, coming in a two disk DVD case with a very eerie, blue "haunted wood" on the cover. With all the info typed into the bottom of the case. When opened up you find two Cd's, one blue and one purple, with a textured feel to them, almost like they were handmade(well they probably were hand made). Behind the disks is more of the woods from earlier only this time with much more freaking coloring, the disturbing impact is definitely still there.


Simple, Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire


Simple, Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire


Simple, Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire

Now onto the actual music. On disk one it starts with Floor Gaps//Pinball Room, where the noise sounds loud and wailing and then smashes into pure distortion and feedback with screeching over top. It is maddening, disorienting, and over the top. It continues like this for like 15 minutes before launching into crunching, growling, distortion, which continues till the end of the track.

Next we have Blood Maze, a surprisingly short track. It has more of the screeching distortion of the last one, only this time a haunting noise is discovered over top of it. It is an almost repetitious melody, I can't tell if it is guitar or something else entirely playing it. Suddenly, it all cuts out for some silence, before moving onto the next track.

The Longest Stairwell is the next and last track of disc one. It starts out with crunching feedback at a low volume before exploding into several different parts on top of each other, some crunching and distorted others almost dark ambient. Before getting more crunchy, distorted, and a little quieter. You can almost here freaky guitar feedback as the last track fades out.

Disc 2 is just one long track, Death//Awakening. It is nothing but droning crushing asphyxiating distortion and feedback for a full 76 minutes, almost an entire CD. You get lost in how disorienting and suffocating it is.

The music in general is very layered, with distorted noise, feedback, and dark ambiance stacked on top of each other in disorienting fashion. It not only reproduces the experience of being in a haunted woods, but also of a particularly sadistic haunted woods where the trees and animals bludgeon and rape you to death. I don't know if Heliacal Shimmer was going for a concept record with this or not, but if that was the concept then he certainly succeeded.

The best way to enjoy this album and to get its full effect in my view, is to put the discs into a good stereo system, turn the lights off, and turn the volume up to uncomfortable levels. Listen to the entire first disc from beginning to end, wait about 15 seconds to let your ears decompress, then pop in disc two and listen to that from beginning to end. You will begin to feel freaked out and overwhelmed, but thats a good thing, it means you are enjoying the record correctly.

This record is limited to 20 numbered copies on Altar of Waste records, I've got copy number 6, so there might still be some left, HURRY UP AND ORDER! You won't regret it. Plus if Heliacal Shimmer ever got famous then one of these copies would be worth a fortune.(Lets be honest with our selfs though, most people are simply too bland to like this stuff, so the chances of any noise musician becoming popular is about as likely as the Libertarian Party getting elected.)

So in summary, Haunted Wood is a disturbingly awesome noise record, and Heliacal Shimmer is an insanely talented noise artist.

Link for Altar of Waste records, Haunted Wood purchase link, Other Heliacal Shimmer releases.

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