Monday, April 14, 2008

Ocrilim - Annwn

Ocrilim is Mick Barr’s solo moniker which has released two cds. What makes these two records different from Barr’s other recordings is how regimentally the composition on it seems to have been arranged. While Barr has always experimented within his own personal realm of minimalist shred ‘Annwn’ represents him at his most bare as well as his most successful. Where ‘OV’ was highly successful in its steady progressive shredding, ‘Annwn’ is simply Barr playing about seven guitars and two basses in a style that can only be described as orchestral. In a sense this record is very easily enjoyed once one gets past how unpleasant the tone is. Barr’s trebly guitar interspersed with some just a tiny bit less trebly bass evokes an 8-bit symphony. His tonal choices though are not that simple with a range of melodies being played from gloriously major to harrowingly minor. Although this record is extremely experimental and may sound very off putting I find that the actual melodic content is very easily accessible and in a sense provides the vast amount of odd choices with a little balance. Barr has really never exposed himself in this style of highly infectious yet still technical pieces and the results are excellent.

Ocrilim's 'Annwn'

Complaints can be directed towards the almost hour and a half play time of the record which while it isn’t a major issue will certainly effect the replay value of ‘Annwn’. Also, perhaps in future Ocrilim recordings maybe the featuring of other pronounced instruments would improve the sound since the arrangements here are so amazing yet are held back by the alienating guitar tones. Still, very few issues can be taken up with Mick Barr’s latest record and that is a pretty impressive feat for someone that is dredging through the same techniques as failed soloists Steve Vai and etc. Barr should be applauded for his nature of being more interested in the composition’s needs rather than his own when it comes to showing off and because of that ‘Annwn’ is clearly a success.

Ocrilim - Annwn (2008)

No comments: