Verdant: Sincerity

God the artwork on this thing…  Now and then you come across an album where the artwork, or in this case photography, basically does justice to the actual sound therein.  Every song on this feels like what you see, it even sounds like it in its best moments, like the inside of some old mausoleum that’s not even visited by anyone anymore.  The tarnished urns, the decayed, withering flowers, the aged, dated benches upon which no one has sat in decades, yeah, great visual atmosphere, definitely.  We’ll get to the music.  This splendidly depressing digipak was released by Existence Establishment, a DIY-ethic label from out of Massasschussets specializing in limited runs of ambient, dark electronic, all that good stuff.  It seemed to us at first that it was run by the guy in Xiphoid Dementia, but apparently he’s simply one of the bands the label carries.  Our suspicion of this, not that it means anything negative, was simply because he has his own tab on the homepage up there in the link.  We’ll just leave that mystery for you to figure.  Verdant is an artist from out of Ohio named Zach Adams whose focus is softer power electronics, delicate sounds, and outdated equipment.  That sounds like the perfect mix for what it visually prepares you for, and it’s almost what it needs to be.

The great thing about the sound of Sincerity is it has the command of someone who knows what they’re doing.  So many times we’ve encountered around here the “suitcase noise” musician, or the “trailer park experimental” musician, both of who believe random action equals structured awesome.  Big old ‘no’ from us over here.  Verdant opens with clacking metal and a variety of sound textures that literally sound like the artwork.  The listener can imagine themselves lurking in a mausoleum where no one has visited in the past forty years, flowers more dead than the bodies inside.  It has this almost pale, decayed 60s sound to some of it, and you’ll find your mind wandering through the various patterns, always finding something new.  In many ways Sincerity has quite a unique sound, something severely lacking in similar releases.  Adams, as simply as we can put it, knows what he’s doing with what he’s got.

However, in spite of all its texture, Sincerity falls in the one area you frequently find for this kind of release:  overwhelming vocal presence, usually distorted.  Now, at times, you’ll find some interesting samples taken from forgotten recordings, many of which have this feeling of an old living room with some spinster smoking away her life surrounded by plastic flowers and plastic-covered furniture.  It’s an awesome presence, honestly it is.  But many times Adams layers over his already dense pieces with harsh, overpowering vocals.  It’s generally of the spoken-word variety, but regardless of what it is in reality it still sounds like mausoleum Hell, completely overshadowing everything else and losing its focus.  Not to mention you can easily make out what he’s wailing about several times, and, whether or not this is true, it sounds like it’s about some girl who ditched him.  But instead him of manning up and saving dat ass he decided to cry about it as she went out for the winner.  Stop whining, stop screaming, and make a beast out of yourself in ALL CAPS.  Seriously, this album has so much going for it it’s depressing it’s so easily wiped nearly clean at times by vocals that didn’t need to be there from the beginning.  And, seriously, not having a Bandcamp page or at least Soundcloud so we can show off your sound directly in the review is something you must never do in today’s industry.  Trust us, readers want everything handed to them (no offense guys and gals), and if you don’t, well, they’ll just say “screw it” and move on.  Luckily there are some samples via the link below, but in our opinion not the best out of them.

Verdant Official Facebook

Label Page with Sample Tracks

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Verdant: Sincerity
Existence Establishment
3.5 / 5