Brent Petrie - The VoidBrent A Petrie

The Void

01. Memento Mori
02. Water Coffin Triptych
03. Transmission 1
04. Aerial Faith Plate
05. Hypnagogia
06. Transmission 2
07. Liminality
08. 21 Grams Hypothesis
09. Transmission 3
10. Wolf River Blues
11. Io (feat. Sacha Laskow of Walk As Chaos)
12. And Death Shall Have No Dominion
[01/17/13]
[Monolithic Records]

Brent A Petrie may not be a name you know, but it should. An incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist, he writes and records all of his music alone. This, his first release under Monolithic Records, is a showcase in DIY aesthetic and fantastic songwriting. It takes a lot to make waves in the instrumental music genre these days, as crowded as it is, but this album seems poised to do just that.

A seamless fusion of instrumental rock/metal, post-rock, and ambient elements, The Void is an album that envelopes the listener in a cold, stark and serene atmosphere, befitting of its title. This is dark music, but not without its own upbeat sense of positivity. One of the very first things noticeable on the album are the drums. Brent recorded real drums for this album, and it shows. The drum tone is superb, and instantly noticeable in this era of stock programmed drums. The guitar tones are organic and lean more towards the prog rock end of the spectrum than most instrumental releases.

All of this would be moot if the compositions weren’t tight and interesting, but worry not. Brent proves himself a magnificent composer, as everything on this album ebbs and flows with a pulsating, beautiful darkness. Darkness, isolation and loneliness are themes that instantly spring to mind upon listening. Experiencing this album on headphones in a dark room is highly recommended. Of particular note are the three ‘Transmission’ tracks, each one building and expounding on the aforementioned sonic themes and showcasing exactly why this album is titled The Void. The last third of the record is a harrowing sonic experience, propelling the listener through a suite of songs that peak with the absolutely incredible ‘Io‘, featuring the always indomitable Sacha Laskow of Walk as Chaos. This track simply rips, with guitar licks falling like scalding fire, before the album closes with the more mellow track ‘And Death Shall Have No Dominion’.

The Void is very much an album in the vein of the classic long playing records, inasmuch as it demands to be listened to, experienced, all in one sitting, front to back. The genius of Brent’s compositions shines through even more this way, allowing the listener to truly appreciate the sweeping grandeur of vision on display here. There’s not much to criticize about this record, and any nitpicking that could be done would be rather pointless in the grand scheme of things. At first, I was slightly put off by the guitar tones, perhaps because my ear was so attuned to higher gain sounds in this genre of music, but that can’t be counted as a negative and is more of a personal preference than anything else. This was an album that was well worth waiting for, a labor of love for it’s creator, and one that truly needs to be heard by far more people. Buy it from The Monolith, listen to it, and revel in the fact that true, passionate DIY musicianship still lives.

Brent A Petrie – The Void gets…

4/5

– CK

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