Viscera review by Byla Jarboe

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  • Released: Oct 16, 2007
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 4
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 5.7 Decent
  • Users' score: 6 (1 vote)
Byla Jarboe: Viscera

Sound — 7
Viscera is a collaboration among avant-garde guitarists Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia), Colin Marston (Behold... The Arctopus, Dysrhythmia, Krallice) and vocalist Jarboe. There is a cameo appearance by guitarist Mick Barr (Ocrilim, Crom-Tech) on "1954". The entire experience of the record is an on-off relationship with a grueling, uncompromising wall-of-sound and serene nostalgic interludes. Completely focused on guitar-work and layering of supermassive textures the album is solely atmospheric. The names of tracks are simply the durations oh how long they are. "1536", "1057". and "1954" are the relentless behemoths of the record. Finely calculated blueprints of distortion resonate in layers of evolving tones and chords, tremolo picked nonstop. Jarboe provides looming emotions that growl and breath in and out. The antithesis to the previous tracks are "0229" and "0642". All distortion is abandoned as arpeggiating passages paint visuals of serene landscapes, while Jarboe softly sings in relaxed, melancholic ambience.

Lyrics — 4
Devoid of any lyrics the vocals of Viscera consist only human sounds. The sonic vistas are complemented with haunting to soothing vocal deliveries by Jarboe. The vocals are not the highlight of this album but they do add a human touch.

Overall Impression — 6
This record is hit-or-miss. It is largely claustrophobic and mechanical with intervals of beautiful dreamlike acoustic tracks. At times it can feel like you are sleeping on a bed of nails with only two tracks to catch your breath in the cool air. I feel this records would be just an endurance test for most listeners. The songs seem much longer then they actually are. It does have its moments of beautiful melodies and transitions with atmospheres I've yet to hear any other artists create. Nobody will steal this album from you. If they did, chances are they'll return it and sincerely apologize.

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