BRUCE GALL: To the Earth's Core (2022)
Updated: Feb 3
“This download-album is in fact a well-defined visual music”
1 To the Earth's Core suite 7:24
2 A Precarious Path 4:30
3 Descent into the Crater 5:30
4 Labyrinth 7:28
5 Stalactite 3:36
6 Subterranean Sea 5:30
7 Antediluvian Forest 5:12
8 The Beach of Bones 6:00
9 Saknnussem's Path 5:57
10 Shepherd of Mastodons 4:51
11 To the Earth's Core 12:36
(DDL 68:36) (V.F.)
(Cinematic and Progressive EM)
I wasn't really sure! In fact the first listening had really nothing special to arouse the ears. As I listened to the different albums offered by the Argentinian label, I thought that I should pursue a little more the adventure of this TO THE EARTH'S CORE by Bruce Gall. Who is Bruce Gall? I noticed his name on the Synth Music Direct platform which offers 4 CD-R and/or download from the radio host of Atmospheres shows presented on One World Music Radio. His music is categorized between ambient and dark ambient with an experimental texture. That's not really what we'll hear in this debut album from the Dundee, Scotland native on Cyclical Dreams. Inspired by Jules Vernes' Journey to the Centre of the Earth as well as by Rick Wakeman's music on the same book, Bruce Gall proposes 11 tracks spread over nearly 69 minutes where the ambiences and the settings adopt quite well this amazing journey in music.
The download-album starts with sounds of lapping water and whispers walled in a cave. A huge dramatic organ makes open our ears up, as cinematic percussion spices things up in a sonic cataclysm that tempers with the arrival of orchestrations and reverberating effects. There is a lot of movement in each track, giving a bit of an impression of a lack of homogeneity that will stabilize, once our ears connect the atmospheres to our memories. In spite of this feeling of disparity, the music and its ambiences preserve a parcel of melody that prowls among the electronic effects and the snatches of orchestrations accompanying our imaginary descent in the core of the Earth. The ambiences of A Precarious Path respect the meaning of its title. The orchestrations have this patient language while the fluttering effects of the synth simulate a swarm of bats that the musician stretches by playing on the nuances with their cries that counterbalance the gloomy orchestral approach. Afterwards, the journey seems to flirt with distant boils of seismic lava. We reach Descent into the Crater and its flute that dresses up laps of oozing water. Surprisingly, the music takes a Middle Eastern tribal tangent with cinematic orchestrations that flirt with the world of Aladdin. The keyboard crumbles keys that are all small in comparison to the filmic ambiences and go by wavering, providing a melodious hypnotic sequenced filter. A beautiful moment in the album. This delicate lullaby leads us to the doors of Labyrinth, which exploits the same theme, but in a darker envelope. The impression that gnomes are playing with our emotions is very present while the ritornello takes a diabolical look surrounded by explosions of earth gas. One remains nevertheless fascinated by this music which decuple our pleasure with a unearthly tremolo in a synthesized shadow. Exploiting marvellously its more than 7 minutes, Bruce Gall hangs another cryptical texture which is also more melodious than Labyrinth, of which the final breathes by a game of tribal percussions. Yes, there are good moments in this TO THE EARTH'S CORE! Like Stalactite and its synth song on fluorescent chords. The synth is beautiful, and its melody has this power to relax us. Subterranean Sea is very Vangelis with a melody that tinkles like the lullabies of the previous tracks.
The rumbling that initiates Antediluvian Forest never let at any moment foresee the sweetness of its music and its arpeggios that seem to float on a sea of orchestrations. The synth layers are as much sleepy than seraphic. The Beach of Bones is a key moment in the tory and the Scottish musician fulfills the mandate well with aching orchestral layers and guitar chords that seem to have lost faith in any attempt to return. There is a form of despair that grips the music even with the flute that comes to rock the illusions of the dreamer travelers like ours under the mocking laughter of the terns. Saknnussem's Path is the most lively track with a light rhythm on hand claps stimulated by tabla and bass percussions. The synth raises a good melody as the music transitions to a more progressive rock form with guitar riffs that create a good dramatic texture. The waves of its finale roll us into Shepherd of Mastodons and its opening filled with sequences galloping in the shadow of their echo. A more electronic opening here with a sibylline voice floating over this brief moment and undulating lines spitting reverberating venom. Once again, the atmospheres are at the door of fright with good effects that gradually become visual. And just like that, the music resumes its liveliness of the opening with a Tibetan touch to dive back in...and so on. Like any good soundtrack, To the Earth's Core is a kind of musical wrap-up centered on the different melodic phases of TO THE EARTH'S CORE which are immersed in the most beautiful textures of ambiances, often gloomy, of the album. The conclusion of the title is a source of shivers on the arms and in the back!
Like with many new artists who often bring refreshing ideas, the music of the Cyclical Dreams label takes time to listen to. For those who have seen the movie, read the book, Bruce Gall plunges us without further notice into an extraordinary cinematic atmosphere with a very realistic musical setting where the ears follow our memories. TO THE EARTH'S CORE is in fact a well-defined visual music, and we start to put our images on this music from its 3rd track, Descent into the Crater. An album of this nature in the hands of a Ron Boots or a Howard Givens would be a hit!
Sylvain Lupari (February 3rd, 2022) *****
Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp