A Winged Victory For The Sullen: Atomos (CD, October 2014, Erased Tapes)

I loved Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran’s self-titled debut as A Winged Victory For The Sullen. At the time, I indulged myself by describing them as “a post-classical/ambient/drone supergroup”, based on contributions by Peter Broderick, Hildur Guðnadóttir, and Nils Frahm. This album, of music originally written for a modern dance piece, features no such big-name contributors. And while the tunes are pretty and the sound pleasing, it does lack the magic of the 2011 record for me. Where that recording had a wonderfully delicate balance between the piano and string arrangements and the drone effects, this seems to have erred a little on the tame side — perhaps my judgement is thrown off by having listened to this first the day after hearing them play a fantastic live gig in which Wiltzie’s guitar-driven effects took equal billing with O’Halloran’s keyboards and the string quartet, but I can’t help feeling the balance is off here. It’s still good stuff, but I can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed.

I bought this from the merch stall at their Barbican gig.

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