There is something about Necromishka’s latest release, The Space Between Us, that is inescapable. The dark and ambient album is delivered very much like a soundtrack. It is vast, vague, and somehow seeps behind the curtain of your mind and into your bones (much like the last piece of music I wrote about, Mike Patton’s soundtrack to 1922, a Stephen King story). You might find yourself tuning out, but in doing so, you are actually tuning in. It’s a slightly uncomfortable sensation, but one so subtle that you almost don’t want to turn away from it. It’s like an old blanket with a rough texture that rubs you the wrong way, but keeps you warm at the same time. From the consistent motifs of darkness in the song titles to an album cover that is extremely reflective of the tone of the music, Necromishka tapped into some heavy energy with this release.
The opening track “Beast of Pray” unhinges you from whatever you might be hinged to. Super slow-motion vocals cross the soundscape like walking waist-deep through mud. A ringing echo and deep winds create this cloud of grey emotions that seems to pull you uncontrollably closer to the disturbing sensations of the vocals. No lyrics are audible and no melodies will stick in your memory by the end of this trip, but you’ll have to take a minute to shake the cobwebs from your head.
You’ll find most of the songs on this album to be like looking at a cable TV that has lost signal, the equivalent of watching the grey-scale pixels shivering violently and inharmoniously on the screen while a hiss rings out and creates a rough and cold blanket of white noise. In “Paradise (Access Denied)” and “Blood Room,” you get sounds that your imagination might connect with a thousand locusts flying through the sky, or a boiler room hissing and pissing air. Throughout all this, you try not to focus too much on these peculiar sounds and turn away from the details, but in doing so you let your guard down and the energy rolls into your mind like an ocean fog.
“Excelsior” has you feeling like you’re slowly sinking into the deepest part of the ocean as you look up to the rippled sky and see people watching as you slip away. As they finally fade to black, you are awake, still conscious, but falling deeper into a hole that is only as dark as your inner demons. The lack of a distinguished cut between tracks creates a sort of emotional time warp. Necromishka have found the motherboard to their emotions, and seem to use that knowledge to create triggers that highjack our emotional circuits. It is impossible to listen to their music without feeling something.
As the fog rolls on, you become unsure if it is filling you up, or emptying you out.
One way or another, there is a definite shift in the inner workings of your system. The track “Evil” is one of my favourites on the album. The acoustic guitar and vocals phase in then away from each other to create a modulating march of eeriness. It is washy and almost disorienting. Whereas you would hope for a bit of space between you and this entity, the closing track of the album is adequately named: “There Is No Space Between Us.” This further cements the intrusive nature of this album in regards to your psyche. Great job by Necromishka on orchestrating such a trip. Regardless of taste or genre, this album makes you feel something, and that counts for a whole lot.
Written by Ben Cornel
*edited by Kate Erickson