Storm Ross – The Green Realm

This one hurts, it does.   It always hurts us to our core when we have to give something an average or even slightly negative review.  But not just that, because sometimes being negative is entirely enjoyable.  However, in cases when the submission comes so professionally done and with so much care given to the presentation with a personal letter and everything it hurts.  It hurts to be so cruel, it hurts to so truthful.  Why must it be so?  Why can't we simply accept everything as it comes and let it be good for what it is?  That's the curse of the critic, and why we're always the bane of any music conversation or pretty much any party where pop culture drivel is driving our hatred in the background.  "Pffff, that's not even anything close to what he did in his side project," or "Pfff, sure, it might be good if you listen to post-black metal shoegaze objectively," is about the extent of a conversation with one of us in the real world, only it never ends with laughter, it always ends with fists, to your face.  Do you think we can spout off such nonsense without being prepared to fight?  Seriously.  Anyway, wow, that was a waste of space, and Storm Ross deserves better so let's get back on track.  Really, really wanted to enjoy this, but it hurts to be honest.

  

Why it hurts in this case is rather simple to explain.  Storm Ross put a Hell of a lot of effort in looking professional, and he's got that down son.  This beautiful, green LP came professionally packaging with some Ab-Ex art for the cover, and he included a splendid, and wonderfully brie, might we add, personal letter with his signature and contact info in proper format so it doesn't annoy the piss out of us with irritating font changes.  In it, he explains the purpose of this album, which in general is a mixture of solo guitar and electronics.  So, basically, experimental with an instrumental bent, pretty simple to state.  Knowing personally how much it costs to have vinyl cut these days, in spite of its resurgence in popularity, and trust us it's not necessarily warranted, saying what we have to say here causes that old sting we sometimes feel.  Why?  It's simple, it's because The Green Realm really doesn't do much of anything and probably shouldn't have made it past the stage of homemade cassette.

 

It's constructed utilizing guitar in a variety of forms with overlayed electronics of varying types.  You get some more white-noise oriented tidbits, but for the most part much of it works on what sounds like sine-wave bending and various fluctuations, with drums sometimes added for further density.  As such, it wasn't necessarily an easy thing to fail, but it wasn't very easy to succeed, either.  Storm Ross creates some pleasant, if not overly sentimental, guitar passages that run the gauntlet of those sorts of emotions with one gazing at one's shoes, at the sky, and back again.  The electronics create various patchwork organizations of sounds; humming, insect-like bleeping, wisps of delicate static, light touches of keyboards, etc.  But it goes wrong when it's all put together.  In separation, The Green Realm would maybe have worked, but together it's almost like two separate albums combined with no real purpose.  It never really goes anywhere, and to be honest it never really gets started.  Very rarely will any of the guitars catch the experienced listener's attention, and this leaves the more interesting patterns at the hands of the electronic work, which is simply placed right on top of the guitars, if you will, with no real integration.  It's all just there but it's not sure why it is, and it's most certainly nothing close to better musicians we've encountered like this, such as Kevin Hufnagel.  The Green Realm is instead like going to a wedding you were never invited to, except that it ended five hours before you even arrived and you were the groom.  Storm Ross seems like a pro kind of guy, but he really needs to step up the actual music before going for it again, because this material is better served as a demo, most certainly not an actual release.

 

Storm Ross Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Storm Ross – The Green Realm
Self-Released
2.5 / 5