I’m willing to bet most of you who bought Pig Destroyer’s Terrifyer popped in the audio DVD for “Natasha” once of twice and then promptly forgot about it (I did). But you may want to did out of the back of your closet for another listen before really getting into Scott Hull’s debut solo album (I did).
Not that the two projects are in any way similar, but “Natasha” does give the first glimmers of the cinematic flair and gift for pacing that have been lurking in movie nerd Hull’s psyche for years. Instead of the slash and shred he’s become known for, Requiem shows off Hull’s more contemplative side and as well as his fascination with ’70s keyboard prog. Originally intended for a movie sound track but dropped because of artistic differences, Requiem is half an hour of expansive, subtlety and cinematic scope built around quavering strings and lush keyboards.
Italian soundtrack maestro Sergio Leone and Tangerine Dream both get namechecked in Hull’s introductory notes and both influences are definitely there as well as Pink Floyd circa Umma Gumma through Meddle and Obscured by Clouds with their slow building ambience.
Throw in a bonus track, a lullaby Hull composed for his son, Preston, and Requiem intriguingly challenges our preconceptions about who Hull is and what drives him musically. Those who brush their teeth in sync to blast beats in the morning will inevitably be disappointed, but anyone who’s musical mind is open a crack will take an intriguing trip down the rabbit hole with one of the most accomplished musician’s currently working in metal. Note I didn’t just say metal musician.
Showing a deftness and restraint that may go unnoticed amid the carefully arranged chaos of Agoraphobic Nosebleed or Pig Destroyer, Hull’s ear for cinematic pacing and emotionally subtlety leave you wondering when the man will step out of the mixing room and behind the camera.