Dominick Fernow’s Prurient is a project which explores various bleak landscapes in many different ways. Through different stages of his extensive career, his discography has had strongly fluctuating moods. Sometimes Prurient’s music is loud and harsh, melting peoples’ faces off with waves of noise, and sometimes Prurient mix that up with slight pop sensibilities, like in the 2011 release, Bermuda Drain. On Rose Pillar, the music is wholly noninvasive with slowly evolving textures thumping with the cadence of a resting heartbeat.
The volume of the album is considerably low by modern standards, so if you are really desperate to immerse yourself in the staticy noises, turn up the volume a little more. To me, though, I found it much more comfortable listening to it at a quieter volume so I could somehow embrace the sounds a lot differently, and somehow just become the sound, and please, forgive the pretentiousness of that statement. ‘Custer Claims His Arrow’ is a morose arrangement, one that certainly gets you acquainted with the album in an instant, and my only gripe about this song is that it’s not twenty minutes longer. Fernow decides not to offer any distorted screams during this track, and I think that was probably a wise decision.
The rest of the album basically stays at the same slow pace, focusing on engaging the listener through slightly harsh sounds and a combination of warm synths. Interesting to note, too, for an album rooted in dark ambient, it’s not exactly sinister, and the majority of the darkness comes from a strong feeling of melancholy. Perhaps you will feel differently about the album, but ultimately, you will like it. The album ends with ‘Tractor Replaces the Horse’, which is some sort of reprise of the opening track. I’m not too sure of what the purpose is, and that’s somewhat creepy, but it’s a comforting way to end the album – a sombre reminder of what you have just experienced.
If you’re looking to listen to a Prurient album, I feel Rose Pillar is probably the easiest place to start. The album is short and digestible, showcasing Fernow’s talents as an ambient and noise musician. It’s a moody relic with quite an outstanding amount of replayability for an album of its genre.