Sunday, December 4, 2011

Architeuthis Rex - "Urania" (2011) [Utech Records]

Throughout secondary school, my friends and I had an unhealthy obsession with the Architeuthis Rex, otherwise known as the giant squid. Aside from some grainy pictures and a select few passable videos, there is a significant lack of knowledge surrounding this deep sea beast whose mighty presence is the stuff of legend. I had always assumed that the mighty Kraken's truest form in music would be under the guise of the most crushing of doom metal, and yet I never really gave any thought to the more ambient, ominous side of music's worth in portraying this elusive creature's nature.

Architeuthis Rex, the latest musical incarnation of experimental artist Antonio Gallucci and his wife, Francesca Marongiu, takes on the more atmospheric, legendary, ominous representation of the giant squid with their newest full-length, Urania. A glorious, dense mix of dub, drone, krautrock, and heavy, synthesizer-led electronica, the duo of Gallucci and Marongiu's deep, oceanic music takes the listener to the very bottom of the Mariana Trench and, simultaneously, to the furthest reaches of deep space. At one moment Urania is a swirling mass of ambiance, and at the next a foreboding, grating meditation in distorted synthesizers and drum machines, Architeuthis Rex has taken on a much more diverse, but unified approach with this new album, and it is wholly rewarding.. Are there giant, galaxy-crushing squids in space? Logic says no, but Architeuthis Rex says yes, yes, yes.

Urania is perfect for those late nights where time seems to stop, or if you're into, ahem, certain "controlled substances." Dreamy, spacey, and oddly mystical, Architeuthis Rex have definitely carved a squid-shaped space in my heart in which they will reside for a good while. Utech Records (who put on an amazing festival this last July) did an outstanding job with packaging, as always, featuring the artwork of one Reuben Sawyer, professionally known as Rainbath Visual. Be sure to grab this - you will probably like it.


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