1. Ravelling Motion
2. Obsidious Veins
3. Descent into the Unknown
4. Become Void
5. Monolithic Structures
Michiel van der Werff – guitars
Matthias Ruijgrok – bass & synth
Michiel van der Plicht – drums (session)
The fresh Dutch Experimental Metal duo Prospectors is presenting their debut self-released album. As the band members confess, after playing in various (mostly black metal) bands for over a decade, they decided to try something different. They were aware that the style of their choice has limitations – for example, not adding vocals. But they still wanted to explore and widen the borders of the genre. With all this, Prospectors was born. As Prospectors, they claim to take an organic and dynamic sound and use it to explore new musical concepts. They take abstractions and translate these to solid, often dissonant, songs. In doing this they emphasize always putting the music first – so much that their tracks don’t contain a trace of vocals or human voice in any other form.
Eeven though I knew there were no vocals in the record, actually hearing it felt unusual. I found the first one, Ravelling Motion, a dark and sullen track. The monotonous rhythm mixes with chaotic and aggressive parts, indeed giving off a feeling of motion. A surprisingly good song, as to me. Another cool one is Obsidious Veins with its fast and energetic, spiralling guitar rhythm. It’s fascinating how the track structure imitates the standard pattern with verse and chorus, but vocals are in fact replaced with the sound of guitar&synth. My favourite part, though, comes closer to the end of the song, while the intensity and the tempo rise, get crazier and reach a psychedelic, wild climax.
An interesting kind of vibe, more of a creepy one, comes in with the first sounds of Descent into the Unknown. Sound effects in the intro sounds like if someone is knocking on the door or going down the stairs – in any case, they feel really spooky, especially when followed by the distorted guitar sound. Overall a pleasant track with a dark, gloomy vibe. Perfect for a sullen horror movie theme.
The most diverse and unexpected sound – and at the same time one of the best – is hidden in the fourth track, Become Void. Ethereal, cosmic and calm melody helps distract from reality and mentally float in the dark space of ambient synth sounds. It perfectly matches the name, because there is nothing except the void in your mind, while you’re listening to this song. Definitely one of my favourites from the record. In conclusion, I would call Proven Lands a good kind of experiment, and a nice record in general. The various and deep sound, not interrupted with any speech or singing, provides a fascinating journey into sound.
Review by Svetlana Likhacheva