Petrels – Haeligewielle
Post rock, Ambient, Drone
Label – Denovali Records
1. After Francis Danby
4. The Statue Is Unveiled With The Face Of Another
6. Winchester Croydon Winchester
7. William Walker Strengthens The Foundations
There is this saying that what’s strange (strange? ‘Awful’ is more like it) about our era is that in the future it will be remembered as “the good old days”. This is a sad demonstration for a slow tumbling downwards into a dark, moist dystopian floor. I am listening to the track “After Francis Danby”, which opens the touching, beautiful album by Petrels through Denovali label, and the first image that comes to my mind is the picture of cloudy sky. I think about the fact that I am thinking about a picture of the sky, and I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that this music, as touching and emotional as it may be, is, in essence, a little distant and alienated. I am not sure if this is my own subjective perspective or not, and I wonder how would salvation will look like to people in a world that is much darker than our own? This music is, although distorted and disrupted, still heavenly, but if heaven is endless fields of green in our mind, what will it look like to people who will be buried in endless metropolises in the future, without the ability to leave its premises and know nature is, if it will still exist?
‘Canute’ gives a similar impression, as I hear distant echoes of slow violins play in what I imagine to be an endless hallway. I think about music by Caretaker, but then Petrels regain control over the originality of this track by inserting short electronic malfunctions to it. This beautiful track brings even more sadness to my heart, as I can’t imagine people playing these violins at all. “The Statue is unveiled with the face of another” is another wonderful, more minimal piece, and underneath warm sounding sounds you can hear the decay and solemn understanding of our era, the times in which we can listen to this track, to this album, and appreciate it’s beauty.
‘Concrete’ is the apex of the album, with a mesmerizing vocal appearance which lights up every dark corner of my psyche. I sit in my dark room, my face is burned white with the light of the screen, and I see, I see endless fields of green through the angelic praises in this track. The gap between the dark and earthly and that which is beyond our grasp is, for a brief second, almost covered. Almost.
The album ends with ‘William Walker strengthens the foundations’, which is a long, frozen drone that sails away into the sunset. This endless journey away from the listeners is a fitting way to end this majestic work in which I find the questioning of what is even considered to be in the realms of the pure, beautiful and real. I am not mentioning the lovely art for this album simply because the music is enough in order to appreciate Petrels, but this drawing of the metal shield between the skin and cold water is more than fitting for “Haeligewielle”. Listen to it.