The Magnificent Void
by Darren Bergstein, Muze
Even longtime Roach converts will be surprised by the intent and intricacies to be found on THE MAGNIFICENT VOID. Those quick to exact demarcation points might label this venture 'dark ambient' (a term faintly describing the interstice between industrial, post-industrial and contemporary ambient music), but this is the stuff of microgalactic myth and psychic sinkholes. Roach's acoustic and synthetic rhythms are in deliberate absence here; instead, electronic seeds the color of blackest ebony open and begin to flower within a great emptyness, as drones erupt and begin to vibrate with a tangible, almost malevolent pulse. In retrospect, this recording might be the flip side of QUIET MUSIC – where that disc's becalming sound situates you in a place of introspection, Void challenges you with its spooky veneer, manipulations of silence and awry time suspension. It is a confrontational surface that pitches 'darkwave' as the black cousin of 'ambience,' menacing yet simultaneously profound. Here, Roach has transcended mere genre music and pithy cliches by lighting a candle and embracing the darkness.