Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Erang - Kingdom of Erang

While asleep, a vision suddenly comes to be experienced, and you find yourself to be in a strangely familiar forest.  As you start to wander, the memories return, the paths and curves of those mystical woods, and you start to reflect on all the adventures you've had in that land.  The memories come like a flood, one after the other, familiar and cherished all the more for being so long forgotten.  You think back to the terrible characters and enchanted dungeons, all your friends, enemies, and loved ones.  You shed a tear and tell yourself that you'll never forget your lost journeys again.  And then the vision fades, and one is awoken, never to recall that realm again.  

Erang hasn't changed much since it began.  Though the production values have improved, the compositions become more complex, and the moods more varied, the albums still follow the same formula as the beginning, offering a plethora of tastes, quick fragments of sentimental beauty, which then vanish like a will-o'-the-wisp.  And from the beginning that seems to be what Erang is about, cluttered sentimentality.  Though perhaps at times a bit too sweet for my liking, you can tell immediately that these expressions are true, despite the masking distance of fantasy to obscure the metaphors.  It feels very personal.

The accompanying PDF is a nice aid to the listening experience, being a 20-page collection of original drawings and prose poetry in a format similar to Mortiis' Secrets of my Kingdom.  While appreciated, I'm not sure it's particularly necessary to the listening experience, as the music does a fine job telling the story.  It is interesting to learn that Erang is developing a full world to stage his expression in a similar way to Mortiis and Tolkien (as well as every DM worth their salt).

Most of the tracks here are enjoyable, though like all the previous Erang albums, there's one stand-out track for me.  In this case it's "Then The Mocked Prince Became A Drunken Tyrant."  The mood is frantic and hopeless, and once the laugh sample is played and the bass kicks in, I'm sold.  It's an infectious hook with a palpably decadent atmosphere.  Who could ask for more?  Well, actually, it would be nice if every track on this album were as cold and catchy, but I can appreciate the rest of this album despite my impatience.  After all, it is by casting the net so wide that Erang is able to uncover such specifically engaging compositions.

Though Erang's prolific release rate and discography can be a bit daunting, and I wouldn't say any album is exactly perfect, I feel like Erang is on the cutting edge of exploring new sounds within the dungeon style.  He mixes and matches a wide variety of textures and moods, almost to the point where it's like an explorer's journal, briefly documenting each exotic place through which he passes, but always with endearment for that place.

1 comment:

  1. Love your thoughts on this record, i agree with many of your sentiments however Id say "We Are The Past" is a step above the rest. Not a perfect album but one isn't far off :-)