ALBUM REVIEW: DAVID MAXIM MICIC - BILO IV
LONG WAIT BESTOWS A TESTAMENT OF ECCENTRIC PROG AMBITION
Serbian multi-instrumentalist David Maxim Micic releases his new 11-track record BILO IV, a gratifying, complex and poignant soundscape where initial hesitancy and shyness are overcome to create intense confident statements of rebirth and discovery.
The influence of traditional Japanese music is highly present in BILO IV, beginning with the tentative opener Crumbs, where a simple melody is whispered into creation, slightly unsure of itself and what it is, slowly breathing, eventually opening the curtains to its existence.
Second track of Bliss builds on the melody, which continues to ebb and flow now more assuredly like a murmuration of starlings. The waves of music probing its new world, growing in confidence with the addition of positive arpeggios and Plini-like depth.
Itch_ˈnʌθɪŋ_ is the first true exploration of the world, low end vibrating guitars battle with intense quadruplets folding into a straight-up jam. There is a vibrancy to this track as the straightforward middle section becomes more chaotic, with a syncopated djent riff and Dream Theater style progressiveness ending in a burst of loud colour.
Dx2 is me immediately resets that flow, initially rebuking the chaos, but becoming accepting of the louder elements with a beautiful, broad statement. Bass is the driver here, jerkily stomping under a slow-paced atmospheric melody, more confident and self-assured than anything preceding it.
Retreating once again back to the safety of ambience and traditional instruments, of grief is a short reflective piece, but this is the moment where a voice in the musical narrative is found. Emerging from the darkness a singer lightly calls hauntingly into the world.
Fading Memories delicately returns to the Japanese flavour over a crisp cherubic piano in 3/4 time (pedals audibly heard), bellowing strings and the voices of a crowd in the distance. The sound of voices is welcome, and it feels like a breakthrough that communication is possible, introducing a new dynamic.
Away has an ethereal quality like a foggy harbour at night, introducing the evocative vocals of Aleksandra Djelmash swelling into a huge and definitively crushing multi-layered announcement, the production of this track is fantastic.
At 9 minutes 21 seconds long Cry breaks free from the shackles of previous hesitancy, introducing Vladimir Lalić on vocals and confident, brutal riffage, Macic clearly having fun with the drum patterns as the song grows in intensity. Halfway through, scatty fast-paced low-end arpeggios are counterpointed with spacious vocals, but despite the disorder Macic manages to keep this train on its tracks.
The theme is continued with the initial soft progressiveness in of hope merging into assured djenty bends and uplifting melody. At just shy of 10 minutes in length the penultimate track Wedding - which feels part-confrontation and part-resolution - has sections of brutal djent grooves and intense vocals, contradicting delicate atmospheric partitions.
The album concludes with the reflective Are We There Yet? having ejected the more chaotic elements of the previous tracks, ending with the happy coos of a new-born baby over ambient strings; cleansed and reborn. In BILO IV, Macic has created a superbly odd-flowing piece, one where repeat listens brings benefit, and proves that the modern mathematical craziness of djent can happily coexist with subtler, more traditional textures and moods.
Check out BILO IV on David Maxim Micic's bandcamp: https://davidmaximmicic.bandcamp.com/album/bilo-iv