Himmelsrandt’s 4 Moments & Rain is a revolving cinematic projection of eight different vignettes, each of which shrouded in deep occult fog and gauzy imagery. The project by Koblenz, Germany-based composer and musician Peter Honsalek managed to make this album as a very heavy adventure, as sonic density is maximized through post-production wizardry. Layers of eclectic instrumentation and genres, that evolve largely around ambient, neo-classical and post-rock, are strung together effortlessly with a connecting thread that makes shifting gears jell without even the slightest of hiccups. From the soundtracks of meticulously planned heists to spaghetti westerns, Himmelsrandt surround themselves with the swelling sounds of Ennio Morricone and Francis Lai while exhibiting a muscular and restrained sense of musicianship. Songs such as “Autumn Rain”, “Autumn Winds”, and “Drops” conjure up ascetic brood into a maelstrom of longing and demise. Other, more ambient tracks, such as “End of All Life”, “Levitating” and “Rain” channel more otherworldly sounds; the former two being wedged somewhere between a neo-Samurai flick, and the latter floating in the realm of avant neo-noir.
4 Moments & Rain isn’t your typical “ride the rails” post-rock album. Himmelsrandt script their own scenes through each of their colossal tracks; content left up to the listener to interpret. Vagueness ends up being the project’s best tool, as each song lends itself to the backlight of the listener’s imagination. The album wades through the abstract with a strong enough sense of where it’s going, making it hard to lose interest in these songs. Seedy cabaret halls lead to manhole steam shrouded alleys, which open up to vast western expanses, and finally, spiritual zenith. It’s a visual album, so much so that it refuses to remain ambient. The false climaxes, long buildups, and predictable catharsis of most post-rock / ambient acts is eschewed for something more condensed and focused. This isn’t to say Mr. Peter Honsalek doesn’t adhere to a particular formula. Sometimes he even becomes portentous in these shifts, following moments of airy brevity. However, any criticism at this point is simply nitpicking at what stands as one of the year’s finest releases. Himmelsrandt has honed a craft of eclectic landscape artists by impregnating their vistas with chaos, psychedelia, and art-rock niche.
4 Moments & Rain is available as digital download, limited edition CD and limited edition vinyl via Unperceived Records. Photos of the vinyl edition of the album can be seen below. The hand-numbered 12″ slightly transparent amber style vinyl comes in a reverse-side printed natural cardboard sleeve, hand-decorated with four glossy bird stickers. Including art print card with drawings by Melanie Kurhan.