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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GERT EMMENS: When Darkness falls Upon the Earth (2005)

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

A superb album without fault that can be listened to in loops

1 Rendez Vous With 2004 MN4 11:35

2 When Darkness Falls Upon the Earth 18:33

3 Nostalgia 10:44

4 Casting Shadows on the Cold Ground 15:53

5 The Morning After 14:13

6 Requiem pour Sam 4:26

(CD/DDL 75:28) (V.F.)

(Progressive EM Netherlands School)

How to survive to such an album as Waves of Dreams? By producing a flawless opus that is worthy of the sonic and musical prowess of its predecessor. In this respect, the musical universe of Gert Emmens in WHEN DARKNESS FALLS UPON THE EARTH offers an exceptional sound quality, even exceeding the standards of Waves of Dreams. Every corner of this CD abounds with a richness of sound that relies on beautiful harmonious structures and constantly changing sequences, in a world plagued by a galactic greyness.

A heavy reverb lays the foundation for an ambient structure where a synth spreads its sonic spectrums to introduce a superb bass sequence drags in cascade. Slowly Rendez Vous With 2004 MN4 settles on muffled percussions and a mellotron with orchestral blasts that caress a melancholic sweetness. Late, the synth whispers and hums soft lyrical notes over mellotron layers adorned with sequences that sink into pulsating oscillations. These sequences oscillate in a cosmic void around the 8th minute to fade away in an atmospheric softness that resumes its rights in the opening of the very long title track. A bit like Rendez Vous With 2004 MN4, the intro of When Darkness falls Upon the Earth bathes in a soft spectral atmosphere where a synth blows in solitude its odes of sadness. A superb undulating sequence in the style of Jean-Michel Jarre rolls with gravity in a spiral with a thousand sound prisms. Like a hypnotic filter, this intro continues its ride through shavings of percussions and a keyboard with arpeggios as timid as melodious before sinking into a void of static sound effects. Even in a static state, the sounds twirl and roar like a spaceship ejecting its fuel. The impulse returns on good layers that move like shadows of sadness, while a threatening sequence arches with spasms in a serpentine movement that gently flows to a more animated rhythm by those fascinating hushed percussions. Percussions that add a rhythmic frenzy to solos frozen in bitter nostalgia.

Nostalgia begins on an austere intro with bursts of chords that pierce a dull opacity. A synth laments there, setting the stage for another of the superb sequencer movements that feed the rhythms of this very good CD. This time Gert Emmens' gentle synth reigns supreme with good solos hovering over sequenced rhythms whose gentle mutation illuminates a nice nostalgic mood. A softer track on moderate sequences that ends on mellotron layers, adding a touch of sadness to a more dreamy electronic music (EM). Still flirting with a cosmic darkness, the intro of Casting Shadows on the Cold Ground offers a rich array of sound effects. A sequence hesitates to get in metallic pulsations while the mellotron thickens the cosmic density, strangely recalling the metamorphic universe of Tangerine Dream on Phaedra and Stratosfear. Relying on its sound arc, the sequencer crosses this nebulosity accompanied by a whistling synth for a sweet trip in the temporal limbo. Against a cosmic backdrop, a gentle sequence sinuously gallops across a soft mellotron veil. As the intro of The Morning After progresses. Gert Emmens, like Merlin the Enchanter, adorns his musical canvas with gentle arpeggios that hover in a spasmodic mood, until the pace gets stabilize on great solos that swirl in a rich ambience. Quietly The Morning After floats in a static mood, crossed over by quiet sequences and a gentle mournful synth that depicts the gloom of the entire work. Requiem for Sam closes this wonderful Gert Emmens CD. A short track full of melancholic intensity that joins the rhythms and ambiences that fill this pure masterpiece of progressive EM. A superb album without fault that can be listened to in loops, like its predecessor Waves of Dreams.

Sylvain Lupari (February 07th, 2008) *****

Available at Groove nl Bandcamp

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