As the heat is rising, Greece is burning up and it feels like it’s not far from becoming a desert. Well, speak of the Devil! Coming across ‘In-Formation Desert’, the most recent release by The Milgram Reverie felt like an oasis, one I wouldn’t pass by for any reason so let’s get right into it. The road is long but the material is worth the time.
The mystical ‘Nocebo’ is an outstanding mix of the ancient and modern, of spiritual calmness and primal, raw instincts. Transcending harps and violins fight against a raging guitar into a thoughtfully balanced blend that sends the listener into a place of sacredness where past civilizations thrived. Symphonic rock meets pop in the following ‘Happiness Machine’ where TMR offers an almost country-rock performance over Eastern string melodies that somehow are not far from folk. Talk about genre blending! Imagine Linkin Park putting their hands on folk music for the soundtrack of a game or movie set in the Medieval era. Intriguing experimentation to say the least. Now, the angsty percussion and distorted vocals of ‘Armillary’ dance into an electro-rock space of nerve and bursting energy before we are drowned into the sad sea of ‘Wanderer’:'Isn't if funny how it goes, you're here and then you're gone'.
Set on a country - coloured foundation, even more fitting this time, Wanderer's melancholy and darkness are burning slowly as we are affected by the performer’s pain and longing. All that expressed through a nervy attitude of betrayed trust. Truly heartfelt. The atmosphere and instrumental of ‘Comfort of the Cage’ fills out the theme into this shorter yet generous piece and so on in ‘Change The Channel’ where the guitar has the starring role, taking a tiny bit of the usual mysticism only to bring it back in its show-stopping bridge and have us mesmerised by the glamour of the shadow. Even though the track gives off a soft power, the air is still electrified. ‘Knowhere’ is introduced with this grainy, echoing sample of a deaf snare which is repeating throughout the track, bringing an industrial flavour to the sound as we are once again in deep, black waters of sorrow. There's an Evanescence vibe somewhere in there brought by the way the keys are played and the futility expressed through the lyrics.
As ‘Alchemical Algebra’ is unfolding its interchanging melodies under an ethereal female vocal layer, we are treated with the beauty of abstraction coming from a measured instrumental anarchy. A long pathway building itself in a freestyle way until it climaxes into ‘Receptor’. This one is made from all the ingredients we've tasted so far and feels a bit too familiar, enough to make it less memorable than its predecessors, still fulfilling its role in this cohesive body of work. The homonymous ‘In-Formation Desert’ goes among the most emotional and allegorical moments of the album with lyrics open for interpretation: ‘this psychic warfare in an information desert, this dialectic coma projections from the fourth wall’. Donata G is languorously chanting emotional riddles while the chords follow her notion. The closure of the track feels utterly euphoric as we are taken to ‘Chapel Perilous’ and ‘Daily Dose’. The spirit here feels toned down and I’m thinking that, making every part of a 17-track album stand out does sound superhuman, even though we have a significant number of distinctive moments up to this point. Either way, both pieces follow the overall concept favourably, contributing to a coherent outcome.
The nostalgia of ‘Innumerable Suns’ sets the listener into a state of esotericism and syllogism without any vocal standing between the transmitter and the receiver, a wise choice for the mind to focus on the rich, yearning soundscapes. Transcending. ‘Boltzmann Brains’ shines in its simplicity opening a more earthly door/chapter in this world of instrumental abundance, bringing a human dimension to the project which is expanded in ‘Cynical Lullaby’, a rock ballad about control: ‘oh would you love to watch it burn, and then build it from the ground, when the prisoners become the prison guards’. The electric guitar’s tension together with the crying violin and huge kick-drums are perfectly balanced like a flawlessly executed dish. Not far from the end, ‘Inverted’ opens with suspenseful hit hats and a moderately aggressive beat, speaking of apocalyptic, biblical scenarios: ‘Demons perched on a crucifix as they credits play into oblivion were they all just sitting back as their given roles Drained away our souls’. The track is building itself up slowly but steadily before it dramatically fades into the closing ‘Placebo’ where we are thrown back to the holy desert we found ourselves into during ‘Nocebo’. It’s the most deserving ending for this album to come full circle and offer this ancient, eastern aroma for the last time. The Sanctum’s cup of tea.
In-Formation Desert is a passage to the ancient mysteries of Egypt, the untrodden labyrinths of the Pyramids, all that over a soundtrack of grandiose strings and blazing percussion. The Milgram Reverie exhibit an atypical approach to rock music, elevating it to an airspace that feels primeval, hallowed and forbidden without losing its human hypostasis whatsoever. Balancing between the light of Ra and the darkness of the human heart, In-Formation Desert is this album you come across once, and remember forever. Until next time! Cheers!
Enjoy In-Formation Desert here: