Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Dylan Carlson - Conquistador

This is a weird one. Dylan Carlson, one of the most interesting men in the history of heavy rock, a man who has pioneered all sorts of weird soundscapes has officially unleashed his latest solo effort. This underground icon has never shied away from creating art that is weird, intellectual or challenging and this is the latest and greatest addition to that legacy. Conquistador is an ethereal journey documenting the travels of a conquistador and his Moorish servant who trekked across thousands of miles to make their way home.

The western inspired vibes of this record are clear from the first. The musical fragment that act as the main theme for the opening track Conquistador is positively dripping with desert imagery. Layered in oodles of distortion, I can't help but to be reminded of last years Roadburn where Dylan Carlson performed an incredibly memorable set with The Bug. Moody and ever expansive this is the tale of one man and his guitar using minimalist arrangements and hypnotic songwriting to tell stories that you can't just wrap your mind around. This is the kind of transcendent chorus and mesmerizing songwriting that made us fall in love with drone in the first place.

The booming and strange notions encompassed on this record aren't simply esoteric. They hint at grander realities and constantly paint the project as growing and evolving. The potent guitar work on these songs isn't just ethereal it's strangely comforting. The way that Carlson is willing to drown you with volume, but also use that selfsame volume in order to craft entire worlds and tell a deeply meaningful story is nothing short of inspirational. This sonic highway is certainly one that I will be coming back too to explore.

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