Review of A703 by Naal

2017-07-21 05:29:03 UTC

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NAAL is the surrealist, drone/rock project of Chicago native Dave Mantel. Characterized by a sonic journey taken between more traditional instrumental post-rock, and the fringe elements of ambient, noise, drone, and field recordings, NAAL is a project that wanders freely between elements of all of those genres, while juxtaposing their individual elements to create a unique sonic palate.

Formed in 2013 with the release of the debut project titled Wilderlands, NAAL has released 4 EP's, with a debut full-length announced for a 2017 release. Each of the past three releases, 2014’s “Compass” and “Chaos Monsters,” and 2015’s “TIME” EP, charted as best-sellers on Bandcamp. Beyond his recordings, NAAL has begun to bring a live show audio/visual experience that focuses on the mellower side of the project. Long, texturally complex soundscapes are complimented by an ambient visual experience aimed at exploring dark, metaphysical and surrealist themes.

NAAL is an eclectic music project led by Chicago composer Dave Mantel. This talented musician has a true passion for great melodies and haunting musical textures. His blend of ambient, shoegaze and experimental drone music feels personal and unique, echoing the work of artists such as Slowdive, Boards of Canada or Sigur Ros, just to mention a few.

Recently, NAAL released a brand new studio effort, A703, in its deluxe edition.

This release marks the artist’s debut and this deluxe version is another significant musical milestone for the project, who is quickly gaining positive receptions and support from critics and audiences alike.

The seven tracks featured on the album have a surrealistic sonic signature, with a cinematic atmosphere that ranges from uplifting brightness to eerie darkness.

The melodic drones that fuel many of the songs seem to bleed into one another. The apparent stillness of this music is actually far from being a lack of motion: every song evolves slowly, as the drone acquires more harmonic, different texture characteristics, new octaves and even new tonal directions. These lush instrumental compositions are deceptively simple, yet the production aesthetics are rich and full of beautiful layers. The stunning artwork cover also deserves a mention here. The minimalistic approach to design reflects the understated musical compositions that you will find in this release.

The Deluxe edition of this work features a few extra add-ons and surprises for fans and new listeners alike.

Through the project’s official website, there are a wide variety of packages to choose from, ranging from digital downloads to cassette tapes and cool t-shirts, and any combination of the above. The cassette tape edition is super-limited and completely DIY, available in 50 copies made especially by the artist on high-grade equipment. Buyers will also receive other cool content, such as unique pictures, thank you notes and more.

A703 strikes for its cohesive vision, dark ambiance and great production values. This release is remarkable because it definitely pays a sincere tribute to the group’s influences, yet starkly affirms his own personality and approach.

Track List

  • The Hell We Cary With Us 
  • When Our Heroes Die 
  • No One Saves You 
  • The Great Wait - 05:05 video
  • We Haven't Located Us Yet

  • We'll Be OK, But Never The Same
  • This Is Not Our Ordinary Life


Genre : ambient, drone, experimental, field, recordings, meditation, post-hardcore, post-rock, soundscapes, spiritual

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