Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz
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Ethan Pell - The End Is Now (song review) |self-released, single, 2015|
Nuclear weapons and their use resulting in mass destruction have been a source of inspiring fear for many authors since its proven, long lasting effects have been historically witnessed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As if the weapon's impact hadn't been already tested enough, rocket makers permitted by governments have kept trying out their products through 'nuclear tests' which affected the Earth's natural structure, its people, oceans and stratosphere most negatively. A post-nuclear tremor does also leverage the planet's natural energy/vibration - therefore, sensitive people who are not even close to the test site can still feel its friction, which is just as disturbing - we all are vibrational beings after all.
A number of sci-fi writers, video game developers, movie directors, graphic designers, musicians, and other creative individuals have been trying to illustrate life's development and its limitations if such bombs were simultaneously unleashed in many locations around our planet. The idea of post-apocalyptic survival behaviors and all life aspects being turned upside down (or often reverted) feels both fascinating and terrifying. It also resonates with Ethan Pell - a Canadian musician from Montreal, who tried to depict such an event through his 'The End Is Now' song. His direct contact with musical instruments started when he was a child, but he still keeps trying to learn more each year. Currently, he's studying at a music school, specializing in jazz, and focusing on playing the guitar, hoping to utilize some of the gained knowledge through writing progressive and space rock compositions.
The song starts with a moment of silence followed by a sad piano leitmotif, supported by electronic, vibrating sounds. Both are then joined by a raspy, weeping guitar solo with a slow, well matched drum and bass rhythm in the background. The guitar solo receives a hard rock ballad-esque tone later on.
The song may seem purely instrumental in the beginning, but vocals appear after the track's fourth minute. The voice is distorted, as if the vocalist was only a shadow or suffered from radiation illness in the post-apocalyptic world. The vocals are skillfully transmuted into noise (or wind) at the end. This allows listeners to imagine the 'before & after' landscapes – the same area, once alive and covered with fresh grass and flowers, now a dead and barren wasteland with specks of ash lifted by the wind.
The song and its dramatic mood obviously refer to a post-event reality and bring themes such as loss, sorrow, hopelessness, ending, surrendering, and a monochrome scenery to mind. These motifs touch the heart and soul, turning very memorable when the song eventually stops. Thus, 'The End Is Now' can be a great song for a short movie with a matching theme or setting. The composition and arrangements are very accessible - they don't bring any unnecesary, knotted complexity within. On the production side, the whole track was put together on an iPad with Garageband.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 2nd, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
Buy on: Bandcamp