Niko Biberger captures the imagination beautifully with this release. Utilizing the highest level of cinematic sound design and attention to detail, the scenes laid out before you seem far more vast and multi-layered than the simple dark accompanying visual might imply.
The clever effect comes from these hints of images combined with this complex and increasingly emotional soundscape. Where at first there are only intricacies – flickers of sounds, samples, ideas, moments – soon enough there comes melody, optimism intertwining with darkness. And meanwhile, the simple image of a figure before you manages to somehow captivate and even hypnotize with its stillness. The power of audio is truly ignited brilliantly, giving off the effect of this being a short film rather than a simple composition.
Ophelia Relieved showcases all at once an artist with a clear sense of depth and expression combined, as well as someone partly influenced by a whole manner of different genres and creative directions. As the song builds, fragments of thoughts hit with impact – reflections like only love is real pierce through the thickness of the musicality to lay heavy on the heart. Then the music itself continues to weave its web around you.
Where the majority of songs follow a somewhat predictable structure and pathway, Ophelia Relieved consistently tips its hat to cinema, proceeding to move back and forth between chaos and calm – volume and quiet, fullness and space. Throughout its near six minute journey the track envelops the listener in a whole new world of intention and consideration.
From a production perspective, the composition is incredibly powerful and skillfully crafted. To listen a second time is to pick up on those layers and elements that have built it – the simple picking of a guitar, the whispers, a few notes from the piano. Slowly but surely, chords come into play, along with a rising sense of weight and melancholy. Later on, this is briefly replaced by hope, and then we go back again; and so on. Images of death move into those of love, this descending and then rising chord pattern and melody soon show themselves to be of a surprisingly anthem-like nature. It feels almost like a national call – a huge moment of togetherness. Then it all falls away, and the quiet crackle of a dark room grips you once again.
Powerful music, artistic and superbly compelling. Niko Biberger is in the process of completing a full-length album, which will, by all accounts, be something well worth setting time aside for.