Feeling of Presence – Of Lost Illusion


Bands come and go, unfortunately.  It’s just the way things are.  Feeling of Presence is a new project from a familiar artist, and I love being able to hear hints of that nostalgia in the new music.  It definitely helps soothe the loss.  The debut from Feeling of Presence is called Of Lost Illusion, and it releases in two days on August 6th.

Andreas Hack is the mastermind behind this new project.  He was also the mastermind behind the band Frequency Drift.  I was a big fan of that band, and had been for a decade.  When they announced that the band had come to an end, or at least an indefinite hiatus, I was honestly bummed.  With Feeling of Presence, Andreas scratches that FD itch, plus adding more to the sound.  He has brought with him a few FD members, as well, including Nerissa Schwarz on e-harp and mellotron, and Wolfgang Ostermann on drums.

Feeling of Presence offers a dark, foreboding post rock sound.  They wade into various subgenres, from cinematic rock to folk to grungy post prog.  The music builds itself layer upon layer, adding new rhythms and beats, and so I definitely get the post-rock label Andreas has chosen.  Honestly, though, Of Lost Illusion doesn’t play like a post-rock record—it is too evocative, textured, and full of character for that.

I think the cover art is quite appropriate, too.  The album has this urban or metro sound to it, but one that is blackened, shadowy, and ominous.  You will definitely find menace and gloom here, with a slight hint of quirk.  However, the album also knows how to rock, and there are moments of pure energy that are certainly jaw-dropping.  The entire experience is driven by the dusky sounds of keys and shoegazy guitars, but almost just as much by inventive beats and illustrious strings.

The music tells a story, one that I don’t personally know, but also one that I can create on my own.  I think the opener, “A Weird Form of Darkness” is a good example of this.  The songs starts out feeling epic and groovy.  Wolfgang’s amazing drums are on full, lumbering display, and you can feel the cinematic details as they flow through you.  But then the song takes a dark turn as we experience an encounter of sorts: an encounter with something strange and nameless.  The song whispers and soon shouts a warning of nightfall and the unknown, and the entire flow of the song shifts into something that sounds akin to John Carpenter and his eerie horror soundtracks.  With spine-tingling mellotron from Nerissa and sweeping keys from Andreas, the song climbs into a grand finale that will leave you breathless.

Many of the songs feel like this.  They evoke places and abstract sensations that are familiar, though you can’t quite place your finger on them. They are those fleeting images in your periphery. “Room 105” is a great example with its feelings of refuge from peril.  I love the drums on this track especially.  The title track offers these feelings, too, with gorgeous strings, folk accents, and a sense of drowning in a dangerous situation.

The album, at this point, is halfway done.  Three of its six tracks have passed, and yet the quality remains.  “Fluorescent Detail” offers starkness, gritty detail, and a chaotic ending.  “Hollow Innocence” gives us tenderness and child-like virtue.  The closer, “Venus Transit”, offers cinematic, thorough textures that communicate transition, storytelling, and otherworldliness.  Each and every track here feels different, yet part of the whole.  The overall effect is that of a Twilight Zone episode that doesn’t necessarily offer a happy ending, or maybe it does, depending on your perspective.  There is definitely an element of horror here, or at least macabre or Gothic tendencies, and I love that. 

Feeling of Presence might not be Frequency Drift, but it gives us a taste, while also exploring deeper and darker ideas. The record often comes off as a raw exploration of human vulnerability and entropy, all while the planet we inhabit continues its journey unabated. There is a sense of violence and darkness that ultimately leads no where for us, preaching finality from the naïve human perspective.  I think any fan of instrumental rock or metal will appreciate this record, and I hope you detect the themes I have.

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