HLER: LGM-1: Head-Banger Review
It was ever since I was a kid when I was first terrified by Alien and became absolutely enamored by Jeffrey Thomas’s sci-fi masterpiece “Blue War” that I have been a big fan of that highly detailed science fiction that’s only done true justice on occasion. Even less often is when an act of any style can put together a listening experience the likes of which gives nothing but true glory to the entire genre of science fiction. It’s really only been Progenie Terrestre Pura and Mesarthim that have been able to do it justice, but even then there’s so much more to tap into. As if to answer my very desires, with this brand new work of some of the deepest ambient I’ve ever heard that HLER brings forth an experience I won’t soon forget.
Ambient has long been a thing that I only dip my toe into simply because of how immense the style is that I don’t want to get too lost in it and maybe lose my taste for it as well. But, when I had first heard of deep ambient, or “glacial ambient” as it was first described to me, I’d be lying if I said that my interest was not peaked. I was just confounding but simultaneously mesmerized at the sheer possibilities as to just what in the hell that would sound like. More than likely, something slow and grinding much like a glacier moving maybe inches a year. As their first release, Zero K with that new label smell immediately threw down “LGM-1” from HLER, and it really does feel as though this is a work meant to show newcomers to the substyle, like myself, the exact potential that deep ambient has without being too mind-numbing or even boring, and to say that I was greatly impressed with what was brought to the table here would be a grand understatement.
Just looking at the runtimes of each track from “LGM-1” made me wonder out loud what exactly there is that HLER could’ve busted out of the ether for songs that were fourteen minutes in length, much less even the 23-minute finale! And yet, looking back into the cosmic depths that HLER explores all throughout this wondrous piece of colorless splendor, there isn’t a single grain of what’s brought forth here that isn’t simply enamoring to say the least. The very idea of exploration and reverence of the unknown is spread into every part of “LGM-1” in such a way that it’s nigh on hypnotic with a dream-like substance constantly covering its surface. And the whole of this work is surprisingly diverse across all of its atmospheres which still leaves me confounded as to just how exactly HLER brought them to life so magnificently with one track not repeating the previous nor over-shadowing its predecessor. Whether it sounds like the soundtrack to moon dust shifting ever so slowly on some planetoid on the other side of the galaxy, more earthly drones that wonder what’s in the void, or suspenseful works like that of the stunning finale, there is virtually nothing about “LGM-1” that isn’t beautiful in just about every imaginable way. HLER should be extremely proud of what’s been pulled off here with this work for it is quite possibly the best ambient album of any kind that I’ve had the fortune of diving into, and I can still not even pull myself out of listening to it while typing this even after soaking my soul into its starlight for hours at this point.
In so many ways, this is the kind of experience I want more of whenever I think of a science fiction-influenced ambient work that just takes everything and puts it on another level entirely, and HLER has truly set a high bar with this album that I’d be more than keen to see topped for that would be something to behold all on its own. There isn’t a single speck of what’s done here with “LGM-1” that I wouldn’t whole-heartedly recommend to any person wanting to find themselves in a deep state of hibernation or even meditation for a while, and it’s by the end of this work that I can almost guarantee that your soul will feel both cleansed and as though it has gone on a journey of galactic proportions.
LISTEN to “LGM-1” on Bandcamp here.