Plante is the solo alias of Kansas City-based recording droner Andrew Plante. If this name sounds familiar to those whom are deeply soaked into the world of doom, it’s because his “other” project Shroud of Winter had been featured nearly one year ago on Justin Wright’s (see our review of his collaboration with Aaron Martin, “Light Poured out of our Bones”) Sonic Meditations — a label that you may already know from their work with Expo 70, Inspired School of Astral Music, Lamp of the Universe, and, more frequently, Sounding the Deep — in the form of a cassette limited to an unfortunate 100 copies. For all intents and purposes then, this is Andrew Plante’s first professional release via any of his projects. Plante’s specific style of drone doom is based on guitar compositions that take on a definite metallic approach with a post-rock jam-out style.
It’s difficult to place Plante inside of a genre, even in regards to the world of drone doom. For all realistic measures, his music is certainly more doom than drone and doesn’t, in sound, really fit in with other big names in the guitar side of the genre like Aidan Baker and Oren Ambarchi. Rather, he has more of a vintage doom approach on Side A. Plante’s lighter side (as present on “The Moon to Guide by Day”) is reminiscent of the bleaker stylings of A Death Cinematic but Plante’s sound is inherently less hopeless. The heavier side as featured on “Earthshine” features a bold vintage distortion that can’t help but be compared to War Pigs-era Black Sabbath. The opening of Side B, “Unbroken Communion” features more of the drone sound that you may be anticipating with deep layers of feedback that tie in with higher notation to develop a pristine phasing sound. The layers aren’t thick nor are they overly complex, but the succeed in creating imagery of shifting moonlight over the expansive wild landscapes of Central America. It should be said that, alongside the track titles, the music of Side B seems to have a more visceral and spiritual theme whereas Side A sounded and appeared more Earthly. “Damnation is Lie” gets back to the shifting vintage doom sound, but paired with the minimal piano melody that operates subtley underneath the guitar layer, it comes off as clearly emotional for the composer, especially at the end when some tremolo picked guitar lines swell into being and create the most complex part of the entire record.
Overall, “Harvest” is exactly what it is advertised to be. A solo work of drone doom from an artist whom offers more doom than drone. There aren’t really any introspective underlying occultist themes or great epiphanies that are hinted at with this record, it’s just a very personal offering that can come off as equal parts beautiful and psychedelic. It isn’t overly spiritual, it isn’t violent, it holds no pre-determined ego. It’s simply a solid, visceral work. The packaging itself is worth noting as the jacket of the record is — and this is coming from someone who has been screen printing as a dayjob for 6 years — absolutely flawless. Perfectly centered and perfectly printed. It may not sound like much, but that’s asking a lot considering the prints we’ve received in the past. The record comes colored in a glass-green tinted clear and includes a printed and stamped brochure-sized insert with production notes and track titles.
01) The Moon to Guide by Day
01) Unbroken Communion
02) Damnation is a Lie