Almost caught up with all these reviews I’ve been posting – here’s another for Avatara by Steve Brand, reviewed in this case by Richard Gürtler.
“Steve Brand has already collaborated with Hypnos before when releasing his “Bridge To Nowhere” and “Children Of Alcyone” albums on Hypnos Secret Sounds during 2008 and 2009. This time he landed on the main Hypnos imprint. I was very curious about this one since the very beginning, when the album was announced on Hypnos. Now finally in my hands, with gorgeously looking cover artwork (by Kati Astraeir) and ready to be fully exoplored and enjoyed. “Avatara” opens with mysteriously beautiful and unique title track, amazing echoed intro I must say! The next one, “The Far Shore”, is more slow-breathing ambience later unfolding into slighly more monumental, but tranquil mood, at times more gloomy or meditative. “Morning Glory” is by far more active piece nicely crossed with silent interruptions and aerial ethereal washes, another huge one, a real masterpiece! “Still Here (Breathing Space)” takes us to exciting outer space voyage, later on enriched by crispy bell sounds. Credited for additional sounds on this masterfully absorbing composition are Matt Hillier/Ishq and Charity Masters/Holon, carefully executed! “Act Of Creation” with its longing feel is the most organic and resonant piece, colored by environmental recordings. “Avatara (Deathless)” is even more mysterious than the intro part of this title track and also perfectly fitting closer for this album. “Avatara” is certainly one of the best and most polished, if not the strongest, works of Steve Brand. Last but not least, it’s well deserved for this highly creative sound artist to have his album finally released as pressed CD and packaged in nicely looking digipak, so extra points go also to Mike & Lena of Hypnos. “Avatara” is without any doubt absolutely breathtaking listening experience!!!”
–Richard Gürtler (Bratislava, Slovakia)