The opening seconds of Devenir are ripe for Halloween. The eerie, levitating texture could’ve come from an episode of Most Haunted, but this soon dispels, leaving behind a radiant, blistering harmony with a stretching sustain. This album is branded by continual change. Night turns to dawn, and a pregnant sunrise turns into the ultra-sharp light of day. EUS is capable of turning his hand to any and all textures, and he always gets the most out of them.
Moods are constantly shifting, too. Shadow-strung cobwebs hang from the dark, industrial sounds. Gregorian chants are lifted up, permeating the alcoves of an old monastery, entering through dusty cassette tapes and replaying a ghostly worship through a selection of EVP recorders and ghost boxes. The sound levels max out and dissolve into a pile of tonal-acid, and incredibly powerful harmonies pierce the gathering gloom. Like a jet engine, Devenir’s drones are engineered to create a great amount of power and an intense amount of thrust.
Devenir is Spanish for ‘becoming’, or ‘to become’, and the music works through the realities of change and transformation; a constant metamorphosis takes place within its dronescapes. The music’s lightbulb moment – that you don’t need to be a slave to your past – makes it feel alive, electrified, and immediate without ever being too threatening (but you wouldn’t want to bump into some of these segments in a dark alley – I’m just saying). As the drones segue, change is evident. Lots of individual episodes melt into one overarching life, and the continuous mix makes Devenir sound like a set for after-hour listening. There are nightmarish elements inside, waiting to open the doors and spring out at the listener like an evil gremlin. Dull sounds boom from crypts below, thumping against hollow insides; others scratch at the surface of the record, trying to find a crawlspace and an entry-point; other tones seep away into nothing. Although dark, there are tints of dull light within, gleaming like the sharp edge of a sword under a thunderous sky. Fantastical and vertigo-inducing, the drones retain the knowledge and trauma of past events, and they swim up from the depths like a group of deranged sirens.
The Stone Tape Theory, which was proposed in the 1970’s as a possible explanation for ghosts, speculates that inanimate materials can absorb energy from living beings, and Devenir is similar, its music absorbing past trauma and transposing it, converting it, into a nest of uneasy frequencies. Mixing dynamics with shrieking swells and distant echoes, the drones rise up in a towering symphony, their muscular crescendos and ethereal towers of cosmic dust recalling the work of Black Swan, Maeror Tri, or Troum, coming from a deeper place. Rhythms increase the intensity and then suddenly crumble.
The Stone Tape Theory also postulates that ghosts and hauntings are analogous to tape recordings, and that mental impressions during emotional or traumatic events can be projected in the form of energy, recorded and imprinted upon rocks and other items and then replayed under the right conditions; it speculates that ghosts are not spirits of the dead, but non-interactive recordings playing back an event / events from the past, time being ripples on a lake, recurring over and over again, entering our own timelines and playing back like a movie. The same is true of Devenir – it’s a record of change, but the past has claws, and it wants to use them.