In order for any sort of atmospheric, noise, or ambient to stand out from the crowd, it’s absolutely key for it to keep the listener’s attention no matter what. That’s a bit of an obvious statement, isn’t it? But, like many things, it’s much easier said than done as many ambient acts can be summed up as mild humming with slight differentiation from one piece to the next. Plenty, though, go out of their way to create something worth hearing altogether, and it’s here with their latest work that Mortar Devotions makes a great example of such.
I’ve never really seen an ambient work, be it from noise or any other sort of it, that has tried to take the path of being cinematic in any form. That’s basically to create a movie soundtrack in just one album, and that sounds like an entirely different task from just making an album no matter what kind of music you’re talking about, but it’s here with “Operazione Piovra: The Lead Chronicles” that Mortar Devotions does it with deadly talent and chilling execution. Split into five tracks that all serve as successive chapters in the tale being told, it’s throughout “Operazione Piovra” that this collaborative act gives us a very unique perspective to the Italian period known as “Years of Lead” where the government and mafia at the time were in constant warfare. With that knowledge, the entirety of this album takes on an entirely new tone and feel. Every unique element shines so much brighter with that realization, and it truly does elevate “Operazione Piovra” into one of the more interesting works of its kind, and that’s not even talking about the avant-garde curb that Mortar Devotions actually pulls off really well where many other acts of all sorts of music fail only to end up using “avant-garde” as an attempt to make themselves sound sophisticated where there’s no substance whatsoever. Here, though, I can’t stress enough how well Mortar Devotions pulled it off with the entire work that is “Operazione Piovra”.
Works like this always end up making me raise an eyebrow simply because they do something different while also doing it pretty damn well, and Mortar Devotions is definitely a piece that shows it done with amazing talent. “”Operazione Piovra” shows a level of unique storytelling along with gripping craftsmanship that so many other acts can’t even come close to, and I can’t wait to see what else Mortar Devotions can dish out in the future.
LISTEN to “Operazione Piovra: The Lead Chronicles” on Bandcamp here.
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