REVIEW: Millicent Waffles – Nokturnus: Excession (2015)

Hailing from Ohio, Millicent Waffle’s Nokturnus: Excession is an exhaustive drag through an unfulfilled concept.

Excession, the second installment in the Nokturnus trilogy, is described by the artists as “[exploring] the eclectic and often nightmarish life of the peasants who walked among the mice as giants” and as an album “loosely based off of the Bubonic Plague (14th century AD).”

Over 7 tracks, the album meanders and meanders on and on. Tracks feel jammed and sporadic, yet lack any virtuosity which may otherwise convince an audience to carry on listening. As far as defending Nokturnus: Excession as an exploration of a conceptual mode involving atmosphere and aesthetics, many artists such as András Cséfalvay and Cal Folger Day have left stronger impressions in under two minutes.

Pushing thirty minutes into the album, track Black Iris features the only particularly distinct moment on the entire album, a Carl Wheezer impression, which itself becomes unfunny after about 50 seconds. To defend the album as an act of absurdist comedy on the other hand also falls short of justification. It’s an act that’s been done many times before and many times better. It’s here I’d like to enter the I Heart Noise compilation Gone In 60 Seconds into evidence, which features Down I Go’s tracks King Herod The Great and Pterodactyl.

What’s a shame is that there are moments of artistic intrigue, an under utilized potential or degree of craft which doesn’t show on Nokturnus: Excession’s first 35 minutes but appears later. Tracks such as Garden and Stone Brilliance both feature cinematic piano works which apply some level of gravitas to Millicent Waffle’s chosen subject matter.

Nokturnus: Excession shows the artistic immaturity of musicians who mistake prolific run times as equatable to notable art. What ever they go on to do as a band or as individual artists, I hope they crush any prior standards they may have had for themselves and achieve a monumental work deserving of Nokturnus: Excession’s 59 minute 43 second runtime.

For fans of: Whitehouse

Like Millicent Waffle? Give these a listen: András Cséfalvay, Jonáš Gruska, Iosu Vakerizzo

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