Vhsceral’s Living on Europa EP, as its title suggests, examines the psychological effects of living on an unfamiliar and otherworldly celestial body. Its creation was directly inspired by past scientific discoveries regarding the moons of both Jupiter and Saturn and their potential ability to support life despite the possession of undeniably alien features. This EP is aimed at covering the spectrum of human emotional responses when residing on another world completely alone: disbelief, excitement, skepticism, fear, and insanity among others.
“Okhoast” signifies its beginning and introduces the feelings of awe and incredulity upon arrival by contrasting blurred, ambient synths with a deep bassline and enlivened background textures. After this sensation fades, the listener is led into “Tallon IV”, track two of the EP, which represents the start of the mind’s ability to make sense of the situation. Whipping sine leads, fleeting melodies, and a pronounced focus on the bottom end of the frequency spectrum create the tension of heading directly into the unknown, but this soon gives way to greater inner confidence with track three. “Yooroh” is Vhsceral’s shift of attention to rhythmic drum and percussion patterns to portray trust in this secluded environment; however, this small victory is predestined to close with little warning.
Living on Europa takes a more sinister turn with its next track, “Thinking Cap”. An uplifting introduction quickly gives way to a dark, drum-heavy segment as if to convey unsettling ambiguity concerning one’s own sense. “Huygens” enters shortly after to unearth the hidden anxiety and mania from unending social isolation, and it marks the onset of a graceless decline in mental stability. The opening of track six, “Tell Yourself”, steadily grows into existence and reaches an intense peak being modeled after the onset of madness in an increasingly foreign habitat. Internal arguments and conflicting thoughts come into play beside this song’s abrupt mood swings, and directly afterwards, “Othermnn” finishes off the release as an interpretation of a cognitive low point where rational thoughts are replaced with anything the imagination can produce. A backdrop of uncanny noises slowly accumulates into an energetic conclusion to Living on Europa that leaves its listeners with an unnerving understanding of the mind’s deterioration.
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This is one the most cohesive albums you’ve put out I think. The flow from track to track is ridiculous and i feel as though there’s a common thread in terms of sound design or musicality from one song to the next.
Also the stab in the background of Once More is spine tingling my man. KEEP IT UP!!!! ben lefton