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Peter Bjargo – “The Architecture of Melancholy” Review

Peter Bjargo has been enjoying a nice solo career alongside from Arcana of late and his latest album of work “The Architecture of Melancholy” takes things closer to where his original band works lay textually.

The title track opener is a slow burning militant dawn of death with bells tolling, echoing guitars seeping through the speakers while Peter’s exceptionally low tone vocals break through the swirling ether to ground and bass the track. It’s so otherworldly and drenched in reverb there’s still nothing quite like it. “Bitteresque” then pulls back further to a spoken word piece overlaid with some wonderful instrumentation, most of which is tuned percussion and harp. It’s all about the atmosphere this time round and Peter nails it perfectly.

“The Hidden Compass” moves towards the slowly winding guitar for a beautifully eerie track while Bjargo’s vocals chooses interesting notes to end most of the lines he sings. It’s alluring yet destabilising at the same time. “Apathy” is the first track to feature percussion in a rhythmic sense and it’s more like a long trek than a freak out. Again it’s all about a collage of sounds moulding together and this is about creating a real desolate lonely journey in which is succeeds amongst the reverberant discord.

“A Wheel of Thoughts” has a wonderful pick on the guitar which evokes wheel spokes going round as Peter’s vocals fall back to gentle wisps and hums. “The Death of Our Sun” is the first song to really take a full song structure with its dramatic percussion, offbeat piano fills and spacious vocals. It’s so much bigger than the speakers allow, it really does feel like an epic piece of music and the culmination of the album in sorts. The closing track however is one of near experiment for Bjargo. “Sleep Dep.Loop1” is essentially an evolving ten minute loop of the same keyboard sample that is barely noticeably changing. A slight flange here or there, the soften guitar sample seems to alter slightly over time too. It really can set you into a hypnotic state. It’s also strangely isolating despite its warm fuzzy overtones and I think the mood it evokes depends very much on your mood entering into it.

Peter Bjargo’s second solo album is by no means as immediate as his first. The melodies are replaced by soundscapes and landslides. It evokes, it dreams, it sullies itself to sleep but is never less than brilliant throughout.

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