I have never heard of Leech, the man behind THEOLOGIAN, but I'm kinda glad that this has changed. The reason for this is that Crucial Blast was kind enough to send me a promo copy of Leech's new project THEOLOGIAN. One thing is certain: this album offers a flawless combination of darkest ambient, power electronics and early industrial. Here, it is clearly noticeable that THEOLOGIAN does not belong to the hordes of unimaginative wannabes who have no creative vision. Meanwhile, there are dozens of dark ambient and power electronic bands around, but most of them are utter bullshit, for the simple reason that this one-man bands have no ideas.
Of course, THEOLOGIAN doesn't reinvent the wheel, yet grandiosely combines the endless emptiness of pitch-black ambient with the aggressive and unsettling attitude of harsh noise. It is obvious that Leech shows off his well thought-out song constructions to dramatic effect. Each of the six songs are full of charming details, which leads to an intensive and profound listening pleasure. This album gives a feeling that is part naturalistic, like drifting lazily through the inky blackness of space, and part mechanical as, for example in 'Bearing Bitter Fruit' which is dominated by a strange effect, sounding like a pneumatic hammer. Every now and then frightening vocals appear that are drenched in reverb and delay. But all that said, 'The Further I Get From Your Star,...' gives me a soothing feeling. It's like a heavy blanket that covers my body and it is not a problem to sink into the dense and otherworldly atmosphere of each track. Worth mentioning is also the heaviness of the music.
'In Times of Need, We All Go Against Our Natures' is packed with heavy drones, but it does not hide its influences which originate from Tangerine Dream, one of the pioneers of electronic music. Their excellent 2 LP set 'Zeit' comes to mind, but of course THEOLOGIAN's music is more brutal. 'Unfamiliar Skies' at first creates the impression of peace but underneath the brooding surface you immediately feel the demoniac power that drives not only this track. Leech is also very good in raising the tension level higer and higer, which is a second reason for me to put this album in my player over and over again, because it never becomes boring. 'The Further I Get From Your Star,...' is completely engaging and fascinating, with the kind of isolated and alienated atmosphere that is so well-crafted you can get lost in without noticing its component parts. Also really nice to see here is the gorgeous packaging. It's a deluxe DVD-style digipack, including the tastefully designed artwork by Leech. Altogether, this is a masterful and extraordinary powerful album.