Review: Lethosomn – Mind’s Isle

New York has often been referred to as the city that never sleeps. This may explain NYC native Joel Bidwell’s insomnia; the original inspiration behind his first album. Recording under the name of Lethosomn, the music is essentially minimalist yet it has a restlessness and bleakness guaranteed to cause a shiver in anyone who listens to it. Certainly, the nightmarish visions evoked kept this reviewer awake for a while.

‘Fight The Current, Adrift In The Tide’ is a dramatic opener; its gripping amalgamation of haunting, desolate piano keys, reverberating walls of noise and samples of raging seas presents a scene of all-consuming darkness. ‘Left Behind’ begins with a thunderstorm and rainfall which reminded me of my recent holiday in the Lake District where I listened to ‘Mind’s Isle’ for the first time; accompanied by the appropriate weather. As the storm eases down, a Satie-like melody becomes ever louder whilst the more modern sounds of keyboard washes ebb and flow. ‘The Path Least Travelled’ may start quietly but soon develops into something more dangerous like a soundtrack to an underwater horror film. The gruelling journey ends with ‘Your Answer Lies In The Mirrored Wood’ which reprises the chilling motif of second track ‘Engulfed In Red Clouds’.

Whilst it’s difficult to describe ‘Mind’s Isle’ as a record to enjoy, it’s certainly one to stimulate the mind. It should be viewed as a modern classical/ambient piece, where unsettling moments occur throughout the journey. Although I advise you don’t listen to Bidwell’s music just before retiring to bed.

Web Sites:
Lethosomn MySpace

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