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Blogspot Days Revisited: Dolorian

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Dolorian – “Dual – Void – Trident”

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If you asked me to pick a favorite out of the thousands of records I’ve covered here, I’d say Dolorian’s Voidwards (Wounded Love, 2006, original writeup). I don’t know where it would fall on my all-time list. But I do know that it’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about what’s “cool” about this site. I’ve discovered a lot of music here, and Dolorian is the coolest.

Part of this is mystique, or at least not-overexposure. “Mystique” doesn’t interest me in the conventional sense, which typically involves manufacturing it (e.g., Ghost). I’m talking about having to hunt down something. Todd DePalma, my then-colleague at Stylus, hepped me to this band. I still haven’t heard anyone else talk about them. For a while, they had a mysterious website, but now it’s just a black screen. In this era of bands filling up social media feeds, I appreciate that more than ever.

I mail-ordered the CD, I think – it’s not the type of thing you’d find in most record stores – and I still remember how the digipak felt in my hand. It was semi-ritualistic to open that clean, slightly soft object, put in a shiny disc, and access another world.

With more years of listening experience, I now recognize roots in the music. I bet these Finns like mid-career The Cure, mid-career Katatonia, early Anathema, and Type O Negative. So doom is the setting, but clean tones are a huge part of it. They evoke caves with pregnant water drops falling amongst echoes. Later Isis had elements of this sound but obscured it amongst layers. Here, they’re big and exposed. I like to swim in them.

To me, this band isn’t about scene reference points. It’s about tapping some primordial power. Earth access that energy now, too, though I find their music incredibly tense, despite its slowness. The distance between Earth’s notes is fraught with anticipation. In contrast, Dolorian’s music breathes more naturally, as if the earth were breathing, and the band had some tape recorder that translated that to music. It’s deeply meditative and far removed from modern life. No wonder the Internet doesn’t talk about it much.

Well, I’m talking about it. I listen to this music to ground myself and access some greater energy. Much like how in Judaism it’s blasphemy to pronounce God’s name, I’ll leave things at that. Music is best when discovered, not spoonfed.

— Cosmo Lee

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This album is really hard to find now. Good luck with the hunt.

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