Review: Premonition Factory - The Theory of Nothing (2012) 1


artist: Pre­mon­i­tion Fact­ory
release: The The­ory of Noth­ing
format: CD
year of release: 2012
label: Long­street
dur­a­tion: 47:21

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

As you might recall, The Sense of Time was one of our favour­ite records of last year here at the Even­ing of Light HQ, Sjaak Over­gaauw hav­ing pushed his improvisation/composition skills to great heights with a long album that was really var­ied and dynamic, and with a per­fect bal­ance between light and dark ambi­ent.

With that album and some recent live mater­ial fresh in mind, I must say The The­ory of Noth­ing ini­tially dis­ap­poin­ted me. While the pre­lude builds up very strongly, “Sub­urban Souls” is under­stated, an almost quiet affair of gentle tones and thin aural smokescreens. It’s actu­ally a very good track, but it falls flat after an intro that prom­ises more intens­ity. As such, the album relin­quishes its grip on the listener after the first five minutes, and ten more seems like a long time to win it back. Things start look­ing up after this, though, with “After Dark” and par­tic­u­larly “No Way Out” build­ing up a nice dark ten­sion with deep and sharp synth pads provid­ing a steady base and the occa­sional piano chord serving up the melody. Very good, but not all that dif­fer­ent from the best moments on this year’s earlier live album. “Tun­nel Vis­ion” provides some very min­imal calm after these intense tracks, some puffs of steam and dark clouds, a dis­tant beat, but all very faint. It’s all good, but not as excit­ing as most of the pieces on The Sense of Time. Over­gaauw saved the best for last, though, the twelve-minute “Every Second” being an achingly beau­ti­ful and gentle piece com­par­able to last year’s “Darkest Hour Pt. 2”, and the track that ulti­mately redeems the album.

Per­haps this all sounds more neg­at­ive than it is meant. The The­ory of Noth­ing is most def­in­itely a high qual­ity ambi­ent album, and one that doesn’t out­stay its wel­come, so there’s no reason not to give it a chance. It’s only in com­par­ison to what Over­gaauw achieved with The Sense of Time that it starts to pale a little. Make of that what you will.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Pre­lude (4:56)
2. Sub­urban Souls (9:28)
3. After Dark (4:56)
4. No Way Out (7:28)
5. Tun­nel Vis­ion (8:36)
6. Every Second (11:48)