3 Seconds Of Air: We Are Dust Under The Dying Sun

3 Seconds Of Air's follow-up to its 2009 release The Flight of Song debut, We Are Dust Under the Dying Sun presents three slow-burning meditations by guitarists Dirk Serries and Paul Van Den Berg and bassist Martina Verhoeven. With the shortest of the pieces weighing in at fourteen minutes, 3 Seconds Of Air obviously allows its music to develop naturally and gracefully (the material emerges so patiently, in fact, that it makes the abrupt end of the opening piece, “When Desolation Strikes an Eye,” all the more jarring). Laid down at Serries's private home studio and with a strict “no post-editing and overdubbing” rule enforced, the material unfolds with a palpable sense of languour and calm. A title such as “In the Dark Ocean of Agony and Affliction” might suggest overwrought anguish and despair, for example, but the mood of the piece itself is closer in spirit to becalmed resignation. The haunted closer “With Storms to Battle, When Heaven Rebels” likewise evokes the still smoldering ruins of the desolate aftermath rather than the violence transpiring within the battle proper.

With her thick bass tone declaring itself pointedly and distinguishing itself from the timbral zone inhabited by the six-strings, Verhoeven establishes her presence forcefully despite an understated attack that makes every carefully considered note count and in spite of the dense layers generated by the guitarists, who weave complementary shadings laden with tremolo and effects over one another. An effective balance has been reached in the production and mixing of the album, as one can just as easily attend to the collective sound generated by the trio as separate the individuals' contributions from the whole. Adding to the release's appeal is the mini-album cardboard sleeve that the CD is packaged within, and one wagers that the deluxe edition featuring the CD plus a two track LP with exclusive songs is as appealing.

April 2011