CHRISTIAN FIESEL: Follow me South (2021)
“A strange album of Dark Ambient Music that should appeal to those concerned by it”
1 Melting Ice 5:46
2 Gliding not Sliding 6:12
3 Follow me North 6:28
4 If you Need to Know 2:31
5 The Earth After 24:09
6 To the Dance 5:27
7 Last Exit to Heaven 5:05
8 Fingers 9:31
9 Singing a Song at the Bonfire 7:05
(DDL 72:16) (V.F.)
(Dark Ambient Music)
Bells tinkle and resonate. They surround with a sometimes radiant and sometimes absent tone dull beats and keyboard chords bickering in a sound source far from drying up. Anti-music like some big nonsense, this symphony of discord gets haloed by electronic tones that have no reason to be there, unlike the organic roars. Melting Ice continues its anarchic descent into the universe of FOLLOW ME SOUTH. Christian Fiesel's music is not for all ears. The Trittau-born musician likes to shake up the temples of art with provocative works that flirt more with the boundaries of the experimental and the non-conformist. Sometimes it gives solid works, like Hagen's Delight, and often it gives a music sewn on the thread of madness. An inner madness like a descent into hell. Like in Dantes Inferno! FOLLOW ME SOUTH is not a new travel destination. Yes, if the fall of a human being in his madness and terror is an itinerary of your choice. The German musician offers a demonic music where the total excess hits us in full face with The Earth After. The sound universe of the album is as apocalyptic as its front cover with darkness painted of scarlet synth streaks scribbling on the ochre walls of madness constituted by layers of synthesizers and/or metallic noises merged in a big wall. A sound wall with such a jerky surge that the soul lacks breath. No more energy to fight. But there are always these limpid notes which resound on the floor of madness. The hell wins. But we must sharpen our ear in order to better face the corrosive universe of Christian Fiesel. Of FOLLOW ME SOUTH!
Gliding not Sliding is a good example of the fascination that Fiesel's music can have on our senses. Limpid keyboard chords form a soft luciferian melody conceived in a background built on the roars of a static electronic mass. Even in a haunted sonic envelope, Follow me North follows with layers of organ sculpting a luminous ascent (sic) that claws and the fetid breath of despair attempt to slow down to bring the lost soul back into the metallic doldrums of its isolation. It's half successful because If you Need to Know blows us an ambivalent ambience with layers of cabalistic monks' voices split by the luminescence of a piano which also proposes its limpid notes at the opening of the mega The Earth After. The piano continues to make its notes shine in this gloomy atmosphere. The resonant tinkling is the main source of a rhythm that struggles muffled to fit the shape. Organ layers inject a sibylline mood while synth layers struggle to form a coherent whole, plunging this long FOLLOW ME SOUTH track into a state of perdition. The music as well as the ambiences are a pure descent into hell with all the emotional noises that it requires. We have here a heavy 20 minutes with noisy ambiences, witness of this internal fight that the oppositions of this soul on the decline where the good and the evil fight the limits of its collapse. A lot of noises for contradictory emotions where the few musical elements have the same impact as a dry mouth can quench itself with a trickle of swampy water. One survives, but with an aftertaste in the ears.
Frightful, ill-fitting hoofbeats clop around the opening of To the Dance. The ambiences of the devil's forges open their creaking doors, releasing a tortured soul whose songs are invaded by these deafening collages of sounds and infected nail screeches on the walls of our despairing interior. No salvation here! It's like a death in 7 lives. The proof? The episcopal quietude of Last Exit to Heaven is a balm for bleeding ears. Fingers continues the astral flight of FOLLOW ME SOUTH. Gusts of wind captured by outside recordings are amplified with a jerky effect, always giving that impression of falling with nails clawing desperately into a structure where angels and demons try to wrestle away our tiny ever disenfranchised being. With a title such as Singing a Song at the Bonfire, one would expect something light. No! It's with a collage of rustles and crumbles that the waves crawl under its texture. It's like hearing a madman pulling out his fingernails with his rotten teeth. Maybe the fire is him and the rustles are the songs of his consummation.
Yes, a strange album that should appeal to those who are able to communicate, to soak up the ambience and mysteries of an artist. FOLLOW ME SOUTH is not the kind of album to listen to in a group, unless you are in a collective state directly connected to its story. A tough album that few artists dare to do for fear of scaring off an audience. That's bad to this point! But behind every story there is the one more personal to the listener that he can transpose on this music. A story where one day everything changed in a life. In the life of Christian Fiesel...
Sylvain Lupari (April 15th, 2021) ***½**
Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp