A Whisper in the Noise – In the Dark

I’ve been scouring deep inside the insidious mp3.com, trying to avoid being force-fed the music it wants me to find and discovering the gems of bands I know are in there. And usually that comes down to clicking on the last link in an ambiguous sub-genre to go to the last page of links and finding band names that strike my interest. A Whisper in the Noise is a Minneapolis band who recorded their latest album, Through the Ides of March, with Steve Albini. You’d think we would have heard of them before.

Well, maybe some have, but this band is new to me, and so I listened. It’s fitting I took in this song and the aforementioned Nameless track on Halloween, because these tunes are both rather frightening. A Whisper in the Noise makes dark, moody, experimental rock that relies heavily on instrumentation that includes violin, cello, piano, horns, and found sounds in addition to guitars and drums. Albini’s masterful work behind the boards brings out every instrument and creates a vast, enveloping sound.

Starting with a mournful cello and some Halloween-fitting drones, beeps, and piano notes, “In the Dark” immediately captivated me. Much darker than anything I’m used to hearing, it’s also gorgeous. Each stroke of the bow across strings is audible, as is the heavy amounts of keyboard beeping, taking this out of the experimental goth realm. At almost five minutes, the vocals – rich, dark, almost whispered – feel a tad of an afterthought, but they work well in creating an ominous, dark mood.

Picture Godspeed You Black Emperor or Mogwai playing their orchestrated music from the gates of hell, and you have an idea of the sound from A Whisper in the Noise. (I believe the band intends their name to be all lower-case, but I hate that.) Dark and oppressive yet at the same time flowing, orchestrated, and lovely, this is truly impressive music, and I can only hope to hear more from this moody band.