With Voirshn, Loveliescrushing carries on the shoegazer torch My Bloody Valentine lit with Loveless, while venturing deeper into dark ambient territory. Half of the ten tracks are instrumentals that make use of heavily processed guitars and synths; the rest add the incredibly lovely, soaring ethereal singing of Melissa Arpin-Henry. Most of the album has a simultaneously soothing and unnerving feel, like falling in love, or watching a cauldron full of boiling stew, never quite knowing what’s going to bubble to the surface next. You will be soothed by angelic voices and warm synth washes, only to be jolted out of your reverie by backwards guitar warbles, unidentifiable electronic noise and buzzing static.

I can’t say this is my favorite album, because I never felt like I could relax and lose myself in the music — I was always on my guard for the next unexpected feedback blip to interrupt the bliss. I often found myself wishing they’d pull back on the noise a bit and let more of the gorgeous vocals come through. But there’s still a lot of fascinating stuff here, especially for shoegazer fans, and some very well done dark ambient work on several tracks. “Ronea,” with its spooky synth, sounds like a glistening demon’s finger sing-scraping the edge of a goblet half-filled with blood. “Vihygen,” with deep drones moving underneath the gentle surface synths, creates a wonderfully menacing, claustrophobic feel. Probably my favorite track is the epic-length “shivon,” which begins with a gorgeous female voice echoing in a dark void; muted electronic blips weave in and out, chopping the voice into nearly unrecognizable bits, then stitching them back together into a Frankensteinian creation. The result is like listening to a dark angel sing, in a voice no human was meant to hear; far too beautiful to stop listening to, but deeply disturbing too.

Projekt Records:

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