Long Voyage Back

Close To Animal

Australia Country of Origin: Australia

Close To Animal

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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Black, Death, Doom
1. Oceans
2. The Call
3. Close To Animal
4. The Lower Road
5. Deep And Hallowed
6. Towards The Sun
7. Change Your Mind
8. Naiad

Review by Jack on July 22, 2003.

Long Voyage Back for those of you who don't know (which I am assuming numbers quite a few) is the project of one Phil Gresik, also of Australian bands Destroyer 666, Hobb's Angel of Death and Bestial Warlust. For any fans of those aforementioned bands Long Voyage Back is something of a different spin on this man's passion for metal, exploring deep doomy and darkened passages, with vast progressive elements making for a rather epic record.

"Close to Animal" is devoted to bringing forward strong atmospheres that creep up; pushing starkly contrasting darkened moments together with noticeably brighter sections, effectively creating a torrid wash of emotions and textures. Combining the raw clean vocals of Phil in a rather minimalist role with these vast emotions and textures is used effectively and really adds to the atmosphere of the recording, instead of stifling the album.

Unfortunately for "Close to Animal" it does suffer from a lack of variation with the majority of tracks being of relatively the same tempo, creating a rather nonchalant and bland affair, without any noticeably memorable songs that stick in your mind. The plus side of this is that "Close to Animal" is a very even record that you will listen to from go to woe, rather than picking out a favorite track, and indeed I would assume that it was meant to be experienced as such.

Bottom Line: Vast myriads of musical influences and tastes have been used to good effect on "Close to Animal" and make for in-depth, yet rewarding experience.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 7
Atmosphere: 7
Production: 7
Originality: 8
Overall: 7

Rating: 7.2 out of 10