Elliott – Photorecording (CD)

It always gives me chills to listen to what is essentially the last output by a band, and even more so when the band is so impressive. The opening track “Away We Drift” has vocals that are simply divine, but have a mission. This mission, something that can be chalked up as a victory for Chris, is to struggle amongst bombastic instrumentation and make eir vocals audible. The end of the track is a complete breakdown of any form or structure; in what can only be deemed an “aural snowballing of all elements”, the righteous mass crushes listeners. Even though “Photorecording” is deemed a “live studio album”, the slight fuzz that the tracks are given show a band that knows how to work whatever place they find themselves.

While the tracks are all broken up into lengths resembling traditional songs, the sound of this release transcends simple two second breaks in the actions. Grooves start and end regardless of track titles; the band impresses with their dense instrumentation and (surprisingly) accessible sound. While the band’s sound does not directly parallel acts like Fear Factory, there is still connectors between the two acts. Tracks like “Dionysus Burning” is similar to “Resurrection” in the scene that so many things are going on during the track, but listeners can focus in on one strain present and be rewarded, even if they are only listening for aural pleasure. For those fans that actually like seeing the evolution of music, a track like “Drive” seems to predate the electronic-rock (The Postal Service, Fischerspooner) that has been all the rage in certain circles. The presence of atmospheric synthesizers really gives the track a distinct quality that even allows Elliott to move into previously new ground (dance music), but still in a way that preserves their tempestuous brilliance.

Topping the scales at seven and a half minutes is the brilliantly constructed “This Program Is Not Responding”, a track which does as much in creating an atmosphere as any of those in the top tiers of noise rock (who are masters at this technique – acts like Asva and Khanate). “Photorecording” is infuriating, as the band that created this music is no longer around. However, the quality of music on this disc is so visionary, so far beyond the curve; the album is so chock full of extras (the DVD shows live tour footage) that it would be a disservice to not pick the album up.

Top Tracks: This Program Is Not Responding, Dionysus Burning

Rating: 7.3/10

Elliott – Photorecording / 2005 Revelation / 14 Tracks / http://www.elliottintransit.com / http://www.revelationrecords.com / Reviewed 22 September 2005

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