At the end of 2021, Canadian composer Mike Carss announced he quit his job and would fully focus on making music from then on. As far as I know, this Loneward-release is the first one out since that decision. The concept of the 66-minute “Pallid Memories” deals with the composer’s fascination with how human brains store fragments of seemingly random memories, like bits of a dream. As such its concepts follow a similar pathway as what was explored on the 2006-Altus release “Artifacts of Distant Memory”.
Since I know came to know the music of Altus (and later Loneward from 2018 onward), almost every release under that moniker presented its own emotive journey. “Suspended Image” kicks the journey about insignificant bits of our past, fleeting visions that remain remembered off in a minimalist neoclassical style to set the mood. After that, the music shifted to a more common ambient style with gently building, layered and drifting textures that were melancholy as well as an imminent sense of permanent loss shimmer through from time to time.
“Ponder”, where the dreamful, yearning, touching, and delicate unite beautifully, makes a remarkable piece with its lush, ethereal as well as angelic-ish sounding set of pads. From there on, the weight on introspection and sensitivity deepens even further, with elements dissolving in time fluidly on “A Collection of Lesser Moments” and “Visions of Yesteryears”. A culmination of tangible and precious moments finds its way on the intense 16-minute “Summerhaze”, the finale of “Pallid Memories”.
Grab this one if you like to experience another captivating, heart-felt journey from Mike. Ranking: between 3.5 and 4 stars.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Loneward artist page
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