At War With Self: Circadian Rhythm Disorder
I've already encountered Marco Minnemann's Normalizer II Project, where the superb percussionist of Steven Wilson band fame, recorded a 51 minute drum solo and asked disparate, eclectic musicians to record their music over the top of it. My encounter came through Trey Gunn's Modulator album (reviewed here... ).
I've also encountered At War With Self, through their excellently realised smash of prog via heavy riffage and classical guitar that is A Familiar Path (reviewed here... ). However with Circadian Rhythm Disorder, Glen Snelwar, who is basically At War With Self, offers up his interpretation of Minnemann's work. Unsurprisingly it's nothing like Gunn's effort, less expected however is that neither does it bear a huge amount of resemblance to A Familiar Path.
Snelwar took four years composing to Minnemann's work and that attention to detail has paid off, not even a suggestion that this isn't two musicians working closely together on a shared goal, even hinted at. However we also have to take our hat off to Snelwar for the diversity shown as Minnemann weaves seemingly endless patterns, beats and rhythms of epic, minuscule and ever changing proportions. Obviously the over riding "theme" is progressive and a touch of the avant-garde is never far away and yet for all the blistering, blurring solos, there's groove and structure throughout. Yes things can on occasion fall into self indulgence and with Minnemann at times hitting a beat he loves and sticking with it for a prolonged time, Snelwar can feel like he's sometimes repeating himself over short periods. And yet for all that, it's impossible to say that this continuous piece of instrumental music isn't completely captivating from start to finish. Sometimes the feel is ultra claustrophobic, on other occasions there's an almost carefree abandon about some of the lighter moments where acoustic guitar calls out dreamily or piano pensively; although it is always the more technical outbursts which really make you sit up and take notice.
Circadian Rhythm Disorder is never an easy listen, never an album to relax to, in fact it isn't even an album for all occasions, proving most, if not only, effective when you really have the time to give yourself over to it. If you have the opportunity to do just that, then what Snelwar and Minnemann have cooked up here will hit home with a real sense of purpose and a real air of quality.
1. Slate Wiper
2. Seeds of Doubt
3. Seeds of Love
4. The Mirror
6. Stumbling to Sleep
8. This Is Not My Reflection
9. Smash the Mirror
10. Shards, Pt. One
11. Shards, Pt. Two
12. Shards, Pt. Three
14. Running from the Dream
16. Tunnel of Light (The Road Back)
18. First Breath
19. New Life, Pt. One
20. New Life, Pt. Two
21. Slate Wiper, Pt. Two
22. A Day's Death
23. Completion of the Cycle
24. One and All
Added: June 12th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Glen Snelwar online
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