It’s tempting to concentrate on the flailing guitar noodling and wailing that make up the bulk of this one-man project from Mick Barr, the guy who also does Orthrelm. But the near-brilliant effect of his work arises from the monumentally complex way countless shredding metal parts are arranged and brought together to form elaborate compositions that flow dynamically within a defiantly intense framework.
Call it heavy avant-garde shredding if you must, but the guitar-only direction doesn’t seem to limit Barr so much as it pushes him to layer and build up songs as if they were metal guitar mini-symphonies, the diametric opposites of conventional heavy music. This isn’t custom-made for rocking out to, but Annwn is an intelligent, challenging work that showcases Barr’s awe-inspiring technical ability, his complex sense of song structure and his desire to set his own boundaries.
Ocrilim plays Tuesday (May 20) at the Boat.