Departure from the world we know
Composer James Thirlwell has been dealing out life-altering music for over three decades both through his solo project Foetus and an impressive roster of collaborations, including creative, re-imagined mixes of songs by Nine Inch Nails and Pantera. On Thirlwell’s newest release, Oscillospira, he teamed up with composer Simon Steensland to deliver a mind-bending explosion of an instrumental album. This album is a dash of evil, a few cups of intensity and a healthy heap of chaos. It is full of unpredictability, intensity, and suspense.
In the very first few minutes of listening to Oscillospira, you may be compelled to decide that this is your quintessential, weird ambient, cinematic, symphonic piece. But, if you are patient, and follow through with listening to this massive piece, you will see that it is anything but standard fare for the experimental genre. It defies categorization. This album incorporates possibly hundreds of different instrument sounds and draws big bold strokes on the canvas.
Oscillospira is an attention-deficit disorder sufferer’s dream. There are unending changes in a spastic rapid-fire form from start to finish. Each track is artfully sculpted to convey drama and suspense. The influence of bands such as King Crimson and, to a lesser degree, The Trans Siberian Orchestra shines through on a few tracks, particularly “Catholic Deceit,” “Papal Stain” and “Heron.” Songs “Heresy Flank” and “Night Shift” really bring the storm on full blast, with absolutely explosive arrangements. Epic drumming by Morgan Agren (Frank Zappa) is apparent throughout, with particularly juicy parts on “Catholic Deceit” and “Heron.”
Great music goes beyond the song that you want to sing along to or a beat that has you tapping your foot in time. Great music changes you. Whether it’s an emotional transformation or a shift in your perspective, some music leaves you different than you were before you heard it. You never know what to expect next as you listen through to the many moods of Oscillospira. It is an ode to all things exciting and a celebration of human life.