Boomkat Product Review:
The first vinyl album release on Rabit’s Halcyon Veil label comes from Vancouver’s Will Ballantyne aka City; offering a mercurial set of metal experiments with caustic, vaporized trance riffs emulating upward motion and weightless dynamics. Highly recommended if you'e into Lorenzo Senni, Logos, Rabit or Croww...
A Goal is an Image is an elusive hybrid of experimental metal and weightless electronics distilled into 11 naturally tempestuous takes on the digital zeitgeist, ripping away its hi-fi sheen to reveal a reactive ecology of overgrown, semi-organic textures and pranging rhythms wrapped up in chaotic harmony.
Will Ballantyne has realised a mean contribution to the conversation around peripheral club music and its electronic production, morphing its perimeters between computer game and film soundtrack tropes, soundsystem-testing prangs, and styles foreign to the putative club experience. The effect is simultaneously hyperreal and severed from the daily grind; a simulacra of impossibility animated with physically reactive impact.
Across the album listeners are torn in and out of ‘the box’, perpetually reframing the sound between naturally elegant and digitally unreal environments in a way that resonates with the LP artwork. He establishes this upending uncertainty with the whorl of field recordings, processed textures and floating, Coil-like harpsichord motifs in Provinces and Your Stream, harnessing a sense of struggle against gravity in the buckshot-riddled mass of Pain/Power and with searing trance riffs nailed into place on End Zone like Lorenzo Senni running a gauntlet of snipers.
City’s experi-metal impetus bleeds thru most strongly in the glowering poise of Inevitable, and with needling bite in the towering recursive riffs of Ffaith, quite literally galvanised thru electronic process, leading to the record’s most captivating, expansive pinnacle with field recordings and sample pack presets diffused into the otherworldly detachment of SAR and his trance dress-down, Immaculate.
As Halcyon Veil’s first full length feature album, A Goal is an Image arguably epitomises the label’s aesthetic - unflinchingly upfront and uncannily emotive - and gives voice to a true outsider spirit.