There are too many genres in this world. When the term “witch house” glossed over my ears, I rolled my eyes at yet another name for a type of music that could probably fit easily into any of the other millions of well-established categories. Even so, the shocking freshness of ∆AIMON’s self-titled album easily bypasses any of the myriad Goth and Industrial subgenres floating around on forums and articles. Witch house? I’ll take it. Brant and Nancy Showers are undoubtedly masters of this mysterious description of occult-fueled electronic dabbling.
Snap, crackle, and pop are the nature of the beats on this album, vaguely industrial but otherworldly entirely. Hazy synths permeate through somber piano chords and arcane noises that beep and simmer ominously. “Dissolvte” churns hauntingly, a juxtaposition of man and wife vocals, ethereal and brooding. “Low” is overwhelming in its dynamics, rooted in a crushing atmosphere but still pursuing moments that switch between calm and furious, always beeping, always hissing, always heavy with distant swells of synth. Hints of trip-hop and ambient music percolate the gloom, injecting a quirky personality that nonetheless succeeds in adding to the morose voyage. “Anima” breaks down and builds up with cacophonous percussion and a muffled piano cry beneath Brent’s deep vocals.
This self-titled discordance also manages to sound utterly cinematic. The atmospheric “Paraesthesia,” influenced by trip-hop, is a tormenting soundscape of swelling distortions atop a spooky drip of piano, a backdrop of filling synth. And closer “Apostatic” is a climax of gun-shot samples, tragic synth symphonies, and choral chanting.
What ∆AIMON have accomplished with this album is entirely out of the branches of Goth and Industrial—it’s unfamiliar to the scene, and yet it is somehow perfectly rooted in it. The explorations of soft and ambient textures in conjunction with erratic noise, somber keys, thrashing electronics, and poignant vocalizations forge new frontiers. Many acts in the scene, whether witch house or otherwise, ought to take a few notes from the Showers family.