John 3:16 - עשר

by Jack Kiser Rating:7 Release Date:2018-03-30
John 3:16 - עשר
John 3:16 - עשר

To say that I am going into this review blind would be a glaring understatement. Curiosity is something I can go to the grave acknowledging as one of my most valued attributes, but also an arrow in my Achilles heel. Generally, I have some background knowledge of who I am writing about, but here, I just thought the name was wittingly ironic. JOHN 3:16, one of the aliases of Philippe Gerber, epitomizes jagged, desolate post-metal served in a broken cocktail glass. The addition of his haunting aura has been utilized over the course of a decade at Alrealon Music, ranging from a wide range of compilations and limited self-releases. But עשר (Ten) is a demon dove release of cherished b-sides, demos, and unreleased tracks that have ultimately molded Gerber into a sensei of dark ambient drone.

As mentioned before, Phillipe Gerber has been experimenting with eerie electronica for the better part of a decade, facilitating a multitude of different emotions that would make your temporal lobe hurt. For many listeners, the dissection of stylistic approaches into ambient drone music sound about as exciting as reading a calculus book. In addition to the unobservable waves in minimalism, this project is clocking in at about three hours long. Yikes. I don’t even think Eno, the king of ambient music, could have gotten through a three hour dark ambient project. Fear not though, for I am making the introduction to this genre way more unappealing than it should be. Bear with me.

Ten, while seemingly uneventful throughout the record, does demonstrate spurts of excellence. Quickly after starting the first track of the record, the listener can immediately get the overwhelming feeling that they are in a John Carpenter movie….or soundtrack. Stripped of its elements (mainly the synths), each track possesses a building creep that rises at the speed of yeast. Piece by piece, the ending of each song climaxes with more components than what it started with, only to be drained again to its beginning minimalism. Not a single song, however, contains an ounce of eventual peace. In fact, the tracklist seems to wallow and flourish in a more diabolical, lifeless atmosphere. This is what willfully separates John 3:16 from the rest of the pack, the ability to hypnotize listeners into a black hole of pondering, using a wide range of confrontational, eerie sounds. Unless you are an avid instrumentalist or have three hours of undivided attention to devote to this record, I would recommend listening to this project infrequently. This type of music is perfectly compatible with the late night walk home, wind down at night, or to have in the background (I don’t mean this in a negative way Philippe). John 3:16 provides a sketchpad for imagination through his interpretive craft, so it is important for the listener to choose your own adventure.

 

 

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