Review: Hellvete – Droomharmonium (Morc Tapes, May 23)

I wouldn’t exactly call myself a morning person. But one of the greatest things in life is waking up at a decent time, feeling well-rested and energized, while golden sunlight streams in your bedroom window and makes all the dust look like sparkles in the air. And if that unfortunately less-than-common occurrence was audible, it would probably sound a lot like Droomharmonium. It’s the newest album from Silvester Anfang member Glen Steenkiste under the Hellvete alias, a double CD full of warm, flowing drones largely produced by the titular instrument. To call these four long form pieces “beautiful” would be an understatement; they are something far beyond that. Droomharmonium rewards both active and passive listening, lush enough to sustain attention despite its simplicity and unintrusive enough to not be distracting. But I would recommend paying attention. Steenkiste has created music here that is truly heavenly, seraphic, celestial, other synonyms. I hope I’m not being too hyperbolic; Droomharmonium defies any less grandiose descriptions, and easily deserves all of the praise I have heaped upon it.