The Blue Bird (Season of Mist)
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Feb. 8, 2019
Backgrounded by classical composition, diverse production credits (Neurosis, the Well), and the Melvins, Mark Deutrom makes multifarious solo albums. Even so, the Austin-based multi-instrumentalist coheres to singular sonic visions and his fourth LP pivots on a dark, psychedelic heaviness, like Seventies Pink Floyd following Syd Barrett into the abyss. Paced between amble and drift, "Somnambulist" steams synths and somber guitar through that period between wakefulness and sleep. Evoking blackened rain clouds, the oppressive "Maximum Hemingway" and "O Ye of Little Faith" distort their riffology, nodding to metal without committing to more than a handshake. Deutrom intersperses gloomy epics with instrumental excursions, but no one will mistake the menacing "Through the Ringing Cedars" for fresh air. "Nothing Out There" sums up Deutrom's outlook with gentle guitar jangle, lush synth beds, and a sardonic assertion that there's nothing to hope or fear, and we should like it that way.