Black Wing - …Is Doomed
Feb 13, 2020
Black Wing is Doomed. An apt title for an album as desolate as this. An album that sounds like it's being played in the middle of nowhere, screaming into an empty field, waiting for no one to hear, before it's too late...

This is what I would've loved Loveless to be, something shoegaze-y but still powerful and abrasive, I'm not going to go into detail about why this is better than Loveless (although it quite obviously is). I'm here to discuss this album, another one of Dan's many, many releases under one of his many, many aliases. Black Wing is the debut album from... Black Wing or more wellknown as Dan Barrett of Have a Nice Life fame, we all know Deathconsciousness, and we all know Giles Corey, well this is if Giles Corey sounded happy, and if Deathconsciousness had tons of reverb... wait isn't that just sea of w-

This is an album that deals with the themes you'd expect from a Dan Barrett release, that's right! Depression! It deals with topics such as suicide, depression, feeling lost and just overall being very low, while Giles Corey was unadulterated sadness this feels more like being lost in a field, or being swept up in a tornado. It's an album that while feeling very full of sounds and happenings, overall feels empty and desolate. Trying to make up for its emptiness by screaming at you, and it works, for the most part. The album opens with Luther, which instantly throws us into this world of techno shoegaze madness. Its heavy bass beats and humming fills the air as we're consumed by the album, now this doesn't really stop until the end of the record, so get used to this feeling of being overwhelmed. While Deathconsciousness eased you in it with its verbosity, but overall still giving you room to breathe and think before its demise. Doomed instead opts to barrage us in noise right at the getgo, similar to Nahavlr (another Dan and Tim project). The one thing to note though is... this sounds quite upbeat. Especially in the mid points of Luther, the song sounds quite happy, it sounds uplifting; yet the lyrics are relentless and crushing. "I only need this, because the body is weak, and my tired heart, sees fit not to beat". Now I won't say this album has Dan's best writing ever, there are some weaker passages here and there, but overall the writing is quite solid especially for the atmosphere and vibe that was attempted for. Dan succeeded in creating a futuristically empty album.

Now this album doesn't have an exact concept but, you know me at this point I love to theorise and analyse things. I see this album as a story of a lonely man, slowly falling apart, this is shown quite well by the cover art alone, a lone home in the middle of nowhere; housing only one person, who screams out: "I'm fucking dying. And it's alright" Our protagonist here is lost in this world of nothingness; if we wanted to make some overarching universe between every single Have a Nice Life project we could assume this is the same world that was destroyed in Earthmover and here we see a lonely survivor living in the future that was warned in that album. There's a lot to speculate on, and you know I'm obviously going to do it. If we were to assume both albums are linked, and that this is the same universe as Deathconsciousness, I wouldn't assume that this protagonist had anything to do with the original plot, while you could go and say "oh it's the hunter!!!" I wouldn't jump the gun. The album takes on a slow journey basically showing us this man's slow demise in this unrelenting world of nothing. Most of the songs on here all follow a similar lyrical patter, most if not all of them speak of death and the body's slow demise. These songs describe a body dying from either old age, illness or other. If we were to jump back to our previous speculation, we could assume that this is in effect because of the Golems; they have poisoned the air, the everything; they do eat all matter. Over the course of the record, something does become evident, which does also play a part in our little theory. It does slowly become more distorted, more paranoid almost. This becomes more evident by track 3, in which the vocals are hidden away with distortion and the bass is booming through your ears. The album attempts to keep its composure but is failing as it goes on, along with this man, and the rest of this world. We still see the attempts of an upbeat tone, but it is shrouded in loss and fear.

Unemployed is our first look at real fear, it's the most abstract track on the record and the most out of place. It sounds robotic and tinny, it sounds inhuman. We could see this as our protagonist, hiding from the golems; hiding from anything really. The lyrics describe this feeling of fear, feeling petrified; the lyrics are near impossible to make out though, through the distortion and metallic noises. You wouldn't want them to hear you would you? While Unemployed is my least favourite song on the record, it's still an effective song that definitely helps to push the album's narrative along (or at least the one I created for it). From here on out we get the closing of the album really, the final three songs are quite important in establishing our ending (obviously). DSA is an instrumental track (it wouldn't be a Have a Nice Life project without one now would it). Here we see a lot of techno influences and a song that could be compared to The Future from Deathconsciousness. It's a song that feels full of life, but not human life, not really any life for that matter, it feels fake and robotic, and is a good segway into the closing two songs.

The closing two tracks describe basically the death of our protagonist, at the hands of the Golems; they've found him, and he has nowhere to go. Death Sentences takes us into the before of our protagonist's death, while If I Let Him In can be seen as the "Earthmover" of this album, the finale, the end of it all. The second end of the world..? Either way, Death Sentences feels like a corruption of the mind in its techno influences and its glitchy feel. The song features our protagonist more-a-less screaming at himself, in his mind that he's alone... because he is, the only company he has left are the golems, who are only out to destroy him and everything around him. We then get the closing track If I Let Him In. Now "Him" could be many things, it could be the devil, it could be God, it could be the Golems but what we do know is that each possibility results in his demise. This is the most empty sounding of all the songs here; with its empty opening and its sprawling soundscapes of nothing at all. This song also being 8 minutes long makes it feel huge, we witness our protagonist's demise at the hands of what we can assume are the golems, and we can hear that through the music itself, as he chants "If I let him in" the song slowly distorts and twists before exploding, throughout the entire track we can hear everything crumbling around him; and all we can do is sit and watch it happen.

To conclude, this is an excellent album, is it one of Dan's best? Eh debatable, it's not Giles Corey and it's definitely no Deathconsciousness, there are definitely some weak patches here and there, especially near the middle but overall this is a solid record and something I would recommend especially if you're a fan of Dan's work, or just a fan of Deathconsciousness really, it feels like a continuation of the album aswell, or at least that's how I decided to see it.

Favourite Tracks: Luther, Black Wing, Death Sentences, If I Let Him In
Least Favourite Tracks: Unemployed
1 Comment
6d ago
Wow! Great review!
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