Neutraliser – Capsule Bowed Space (Review)

Neutraliser - Capsule Bowed SpaceNeutraliser are a drone project from the UK and this is their debut album.

Featuring a member of 11Paranoias and Bong, Capsule Bowed Space is a single 79-minute track of experimental drone soundscapes.

Let’s start with the obvious – this album won’t be for everyone. It won’t even be for most people. Hell, it won’t even be for you, probably. Although drone is not my go-to genre, occasionally I stumble upon something like this and it absorbs me to the point where I just love to take the time to explore it thoroughly. This has happened infrequently across the years, and only a few bands such as 5ive, Old Man Gloom, Nadja, Gridfailure, and the like can lay claim to this dubious honour.

Capsule Bowed Space delivers an experience of drone and psychedelic rock., melded together like they should ever have been apart. Crafted with both deliberate intention and freeform wanderings, this is an expression of exploratory sound that is textured and layered. Ranging from ambient minimalism to intricate meditative depth, the music unfolds at its own pace and with its own rules, taking diversions and side quests along the way. The destination? Nobody knows, because once on the journey, that’s all that matters.

The album’s charms are hypnotic and sometimes subversive, your thoughts channelled down strange esoteric paths as your mind struggles to comprehend the unfamiliar worlds that are being created and destroyed throughout the music’s duration. Unlike much drone there are actually elements of warped melody and stretched colour stirred into this music, which attaches a warmth to it that’s unusual for the style.

This is an album of two sides, both intermingled; haunting cosmic drone and free-ranging rock psychedelia, although the latter parts are few and far between, and used much less than the former, which are omnipresent. These psychedelic workouts that seem to occasionally burst into vibrant life offer a different tapestry for the listener to place questioningly next to the relentless underpinning drone, overlaying one with the other in search for deeper clues about the mysteries the music hides. Both aspects of the music are compelling, but when delivered in conjunction like they occasionally are here they become greater than the sum of their parts.

I hope you engage with this work like I have. Spend some time with it washing over you and disappear into its lovingly droning caress.


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