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Music reviews Ambient

Petrels – Haeligewielle

15 februari 2012 by Stefan in Music reviews Ambient

Rating: 7 out of 10
Release date: 10/02/2012
Website band: Bandcamp
Website label: Denovali Records
Line up
Oliver Barrett




At the first listening of “Haeligewielle”, which is an Anglo-Saxon word for Holy well, i did’t quite know what to think of it. The whole album sounds like if someone just bought a keyboard and is only pressing one key the whole time. Of course this is mostly the case in the ambient genre but “Haeligewielle” is missing the dark atmosphere a bit. After a little investigation on the internet suddenly the album turned out more enjoyable cause of the understanding what Oliver Barrett is trying to achieve with his first solo album.

Oliver Barrett is mainly know from the band Bleeding Heart Narrative where he is also responsible for the music. With his first solo effort he took a deep dive in the life of William Walker, who is mentioned in the title of the albums final song. William Walker (1869-1818) was a British scuba diver famous for shoring up Winchester Cathedral, a task that involved him re-building the foundation of the cathedral while being submerged underwater in total darkness for six hours a day for five years. Not the easiest task and after knowing this the music on “Haeligewielle” suddenly forms some kind of movie in your head where one can see the struggle William Walker was facing each day. It almost gives you the idea like you were there and feel every breath of air William Walker were taking.

Knowing the above gives the album a much more interesting ‘vibe’ but still “Haeligewielle” suffers a bit from that person who just bought his first keyboard. The song “Concrete” offers something else with a chorus of warm male voices and “Winchester Croydon Winchester” also stands out of the rest of the album as it’s loaded with various keyboards. But it’s not enough to make “Haeligewielle” a great album. It’s interesting for sure but only if one is willing to understand what Oliver is trying to tell.

01 After Francis Danby
02 Silt
03 Canute
04 The Statue Is Unveiled With The Face Of Another
05 Concrete
06 Winchester Croydon Winchester
07 William Walker Strengthens The Foundations

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