After the very good Collapse of Light, released exactly one year ago, Stijn Van Cauter returns with a new pachydermic Until Death Overtakes Me album entitled Decay into Irrelevance, which is well over two hours longwhich is well over two hours long and which, as the Belgian musician himself indicates on his Bandcamp, is a collection of tracks composed during 2022. Obviously, not everyone can be as prolific compositionally as Van Cauter, and those who are familiar with his musical history cannot be surprised, but what remains always surprising is his ability to once again produce an enormous amount of effective funeral doom with ambient drifts. The fact that the tracks may not have been composed initially with the purpose of being included in an album sometimes makes them quite different from each other, and indeed, listening to the opening Acceptance, a very long but more atmospheric track than those to come later, one can hear that component of the sound that the Flemish musician himself uses for other recent excellent albums released under the moniker Arcane Voidsplitter; in fact, in this track it is possible to grasp a certain cosmic aura that in the project just mentioned is amplified to a greater extent without punctuating the sound with the rhythmic cadence typical of funeral. More than two hours of music is always something that is difficult to digest for those who are not accustomed to such listening, but let us also consider that the last track Dreams of Other Worlds is in any case an episode composed of 20 minutes of ambient music and that Frère Jacques itself is nothing more than the doom version of a song that each of us sang as a child, albeit in our own different idioms. All that remains is of enormous value because, as was the case with the previous album, in my opinion Van Cauter in Decay into Irrelevance focuses his inspiration at its best, which translates into an atmospheric but, at the same time, rather obsessive and impactful sound, succeeding once again in involving and convincing.

2023 – Independent