REVIEW: GONE IS GONE – “Gone Is Gone”
The debut album from Gone Is Gone transfixes the listener with a soundscape that is at once dazzlingly bright and hauntingly beautiful. If you are looking to hear At The Drive In, Queens of the Stone Age, or Mastodon rehashed and resold, then this album will not be for you. If you enjoy compelling compositions that explore the dynamics of sound with a lean toward the heavy spectrum, then you may find this debut from “Gone Is Gone” to be fascinating. While you can recognized the individual contributions of Mike Zarin (guitars / keyboards), Tony Hajjar (drums), Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar), and Troy Sanders (vocals / bass) the sum of their work in Gone Is Gone embraces the more orchestral permutations of their primary bands.
“Gone is Gone” opens with the low-end thump and growling power of “Violescent”. Troy Sander’s voice and bass may have you thinking of Mastodon, but this is fleeting. Once you start to swim in the murky guitars and high-hat heavy drums, you sense this is an animal of unknown origins. Drifting in haunted dark ambient sound, “Starlight” feels lost and alone as if these were the final sights and sounds of Major Tom. “Stolen From Me” kicks in with a cyclical progression that unfolds into empty spaces evolving into sparse instrumental arrangements. You could easily imagine this song being a sound track for Blade Runner.
Tucked within the fabric of the more full-featured arrangements are musical vignettes such as “Character” and “Recede And Enter”. These tracks provide ambient sequences and sound experiments accompanied by spoken words. The menacing “One Divided” delivers a driving rhythm with bold bass and drum set against mechanical guitar riffs. This tune will set your nerves on edge. “Praying From The Danger” will also instill a sense of foreboding and disharmony of the soul as the riffs pound, stab, and then release with the sensation of floating through the use of wide octaves and cymbal splashes.
“Gone Is Gone” finishes up with the supernatural “This Chapter” which is a song about letting go and moving on. The gossamer introduction blossoms into the birth of the sun with broad strokes of drum and searing guitar. This song is a fine way to end this intriguing album. “Gone Is Gone” is thoughtful, nuanced, abrasive and soothing. Indulge yourself in the sonic observations and progressive creativity that have been forged by the members of Gone Is Gone. Let your mind churn and tumble within music that captures powerful beauty and haunting melodies.