Emeralds are an Ohio drone trio who blend elements of Kosmiche music, luscious electronic progressions and synthesized textures and this, 2007’s Allegory of Allergies, is in my opinion their finest work. Drone music originated from experimental rock music in the 1960s with artists like The Velvet Underground as well as improvisation and minimalist artists such as La Monte Young and Taj Mahal Travellers. Modern drone music is almost habitually dark and dismal, designed to depress in these protracted yet intense drones that unite the serenity and peacefulness of ambient soundscapes with the gloomy buzzing of noise metal. But Allegory of Allergies is a little different as I find it induces an enlighteningly sanguine state in my mind; the sonic whirs and occassional piano chords relax and unravel ones’ mind.
There is much to love about Allegory of Allergies – the arragement of drones in itself is not elaborate yet ostensibly taps into the conscience of the listener in a cleansing and purifying slipstream of ambience and sound. The instrumentation, on the other hand, is detailed and embracing, so much so that every time you insert Allegory of Allergies into your cassette deck, you perceive and acquire something new and hollowingly beautiful, from the placid guitar chimes to electronic pulsations and undertones that throb and palpitate uncontrollably.
But with this instrumentation comes an obstacle. It should be understood before listening that Allegory of Allergies is not an easy journey. Firstly, in total, it is almost two hours in length and although this may stretch longer than your typical Van Morrison record, I can’t say it is any less of a rewarding experience. Secondly, Emerald’s drones don’t deviate widely throughout their usually quite long compositions, with one monotonous drone bridging between twelve to nineteen minutes in several occassions throughout the record. But otherwise, we have a drone masterpiece which hacks into the emotions of the listener and presents itself like a series of dreams and revelations. Everything here is perfectly placed. A grand venture into vast soundscapes await.