DECAYCAST Reviews: Reverent – “Live Exorcism 2017” (American Damage, 2017)
Reverent is the Chicago based project of Jordan Reyes and, for the duration at least of this release, focuses on strictly voice- based industrial / loop based rhythmic works. The sound of Reverent oscillates between traditional primitively rhythmic based industrial, drone, and ritual music / chanting and experimental noise. This specific release is titled “Live Exorcism 2017”, and functions both sonically and conceptually very much in that realm. In one section the listener is being led on a more pronounced almost spoken word / beat section of the performance and then things begin to shift to a slower, more abstracted version of a similar piece. Reverent never stays in one lane too often throughout the piece, always keeping the dynamics and composition shifting in an interesting and unique way. Technically speaking, a rather full vocal range gives the artist the ability to construct full sounding works from just the voice, I’ve heard other vocal based acts which can come off as gimmicky or contrived in a way but Reverent is absolutely not that at all. Every bar, ever loop, every breath seems intentional and carefully places, there’s never really a slip up, we as the listener are presented with a polished, dense, articulate set of vocal explorations, which are no short of songs unto themselves, but also they exist a much more; an exorcism, a nervous, manic cleansing of the performer.
Reverent is truly a unique project, sound and concept wise, as I cannot really compare it to anything else. Stylistically, it could exist in similar realms of drone / percussion pioneer Z’EV, NURSE WITH WOUND, COIL, but could also operate in a more contemporary undiscovered space/zone as well, blending dense layers of vocal processing to an almost fever-dream style of symphonic production. The sound of Reverent is nervous, trance-like and for lack of a better tern, darkly triumphant. Reyes really does craft all of the parts of a traditional “song” with just the human voice, bass lines, poly-rhyhms, leads, and more traditional vocal layers; an entire band is born from the esophagus; come alive. Even if you are dead, you will be reanimated by the ritualistic chanting drones and oscillations of Reverent.
Reverent is about to embark on a short tour and here is the information below. Make sure to catch one of these live rituals if possible; if so much can be gained from just a live mic recording of these works, imagine what they must present like in the flesh and in the ear; NOT TO BE MISSED.