Daniel Terrence Robertson seems to begin a reflective journey through the confines of his mind, manifesting in Robertson’s debut album, Death. As individual reflection is truly a solitary act, Robertson composed and recorded all eight songs alone. Tracks such as “Soundtrack 4 (Mother)” and “East Cordova (Smile Deth Is Love 2!)” capture the essence of solitude. But don’t let the album title fool you, Death is not all gloom. Most of the album is packed with bright sounds and, at times, can be even playful.
The opening song “House” sets an atmosphere and tone for the preceding songs that can only be described as ‘misty.’ “Falsity” and “God I’m Sorry” deviate slightly from the album’s blueprint to provide a bit of crunch to the composition. Robertson’s voice appears in most tracks as a welcoming-yet-ghastly host, leading the listener through the album’s ambiance.
The spacey notes of “She Transfigured” take me me back to a specific point at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. As I walk down a glass tunnel surrounded by dark waters, sea creatures circle my footsteps. An enormous manta ray soars above my head, but then the ominous sounds of “Soundtrack 4 (Mother)” ground me back in reality.
“Soundtrack 4 (Mother)” lands as my personal favourite on the album. The simple rhythm provides a feeling of completion for the listener. The slow build up of sound that suddenly cuts away provides the listener with the most dramatic climax on Death. This is a contrast with the following song, “Falsity” which is more relaxed and joyful. The upbeat mood carries through until “East Cordova (Smile Deth Is Love 2!).” This track is harsh, creepy, and a bit noisy; I love it. The abrupt ending drops the listener into the final song. “Garden” wraps Death up nicely. There is a sense of reflection, the lethargy melts frustrations. And overall, Death is a strong debut from a new talent.