Music » CD Reviews


The Lament Configuration (Earache)


The word "trance" has been bandied about carelessly for the last few years, during ambient music's somewhat surprising rise in popularity. The term, as it's generally understood, seems to refer to some blissed-out state of navel-gazery, within which only peaceful feelings are experienced and all's right with the world. Trances, though, come in many different shapes and sizes, some of them headier than others. Case in point: December's The Lament Configuration.

The Lament Configuration is what Slipknot will sound like when they're no longer on a major label and all the money's run out for good. It is simply relentless. The drums don't just keep time: They nail it to the wall, creating the first and most audible layer of December's multicolored, rage-drenched but richly textured onslaught. It's the same with the guitars, which strike an identifiable major chord maybe twice in 40 minutes; the rest of the time, they're tolling enormous, harsh, heavily fuzzed-out swathes of sound that flash from the speakers in riff clusters, one after another, repeating themselves like formulae for 8 or 12 bars. Once you've been hypnotized by the volume and speed pyrotechnics of the whole thing, even the mega-distorted, just-gargled-Pine-Sol screams of the singer assume their own kind of assaultive charm. Resoundingly excellent, The Lament Configuration supplies the sort of trance you might encounter hurtling through space at impossible speeds or after idling too long in a gallery full of Jackson Pollocks. You can keep your Enya. The real mood music lies elsewhere.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.