The Doomed Bird of Providence – Rumbling Clouds of War Hover Over Us

Posted: 17 April 2020 in Albums
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10 to 1 records

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s been three years since The Doomed Bird of Providence graced us with Burrowed into the Soft Sky, an album containing two richly atmospheric longform instrumental tracks. With the Rumbling Clouds of War Hover Over Us, which bears a characteristically cumbersome title, Mark Kluzek continues to pursue an instrumental direction, while moving away from Australian colonial history in favour of and exploration the escape of his grandfather Władysław Kluzek from Poland after the German invasion in WWII

The EP, containing four pieces, is demarked at four parts, indicative of a continuous but segmented sequence. Being instrumental, however, any narrative bent is very much implicit, and with a combined running time of approximately twenty minutes, Rumbling Clouds of War Hover Over Us returns to the more succinct style of previous releases.

The title makes sense in context, but carries a universality in reminding us that we are never more than a few short steps from war, and these delicately-poised compositions are heavy with sentiment, dense with instrumentation that articulates it while leaving room for interpretation.

Part 1, the title track, begins with a sombre piano and trudging drum, augmented with strings and woodwind to forge a dense, lugubrious atmosphere. There’s a slow, sashaying gallic-slash-silent movie feel to ‘You Never Became Used to Death’, and the rolling piano rolls into ‘Constant Moving Stream’ which builds the theatrics and drama with bold chords swelling over another insistent beat that marches on while a crescendo swells and then fades, its peak unrealised, the tension unresolved. The final piece, ‘But Something to Aim For’ keeps things taut, and is filmic and threatens a climax that never quite breaks, and that tension remains unresolved even with the soaring violin work and gradual layering that brings the album it its conclusion.

Being instrumental, there’s no overt narrative to be played back or unravelled here: Rumbling Clouds of War Hover Over Us relies on an element of input from the listener. True to form, The Doomed Bird of Providence conjure some stirring passages that resonate internally, subconsciously, and echo deep within.

AA

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