Ravedeath, 1972 - Tim Hecker
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Mar 14, 2011
    100
    The use of the church organ is a particular masterstroke and it imbues Hecker's compositions here not with grandiosity, but with a sort of faded grandeur that chimes brilliantly with his familiar themes. It also offers a superb range of texture and sound, sometimes attacking and aggressive, at others soft and warm.
  2. Mar 22, 2011
    91
    Complex and rewarding in a way that the telescoping salvia trip of An Imaginary Country never was, and tougher and more fibrous than the excellent Haunt Me Haunt Me, Do It Again, Ravedeath, 1972 somehow manages to soothe even as it disorients.
  3. Apr 12, 2011
    90
    What resulted is ultimately an album of destructive beauty. Elegance married with sonic destruction!
  4. Feb 23, 2011
    90
    It might lack the narrative arc of 09's An Imaginary Country, but it's hard to imagine that 2011 will see many finer releases, of any genre.
  5. It makes its own statement, and it does so with the level of maturity and succinctness that we've come to expect from Hecker, an artist who has well earned his place as a leader amongst his peers.
  6. Feb 23, 2011
    86
    That idea, the notion of music as a cheapened, battered object, touches nearly every aspect of Ravedeath, 1972, a dark and often claustrophobic record that is arguably Hecker's finest work to date.
  7. Apr 28, 2011
    80
    The album has almost Wagnerian scope and immersive power, and at just over 50 minutes it's well organised as a start-to-finish listen. [Mar 2011, p.50]
  8. Apr 6, 2011
    80
    Very sad and very beautiful. [Apr 2011, p.100]
  9. Mar 29, 2011
    80
    His primary source is a pipe organ in an Icelandic church, which he processes, filters, deconsecrates, muddles and distorts, and therefore liberates in the course of this album, enabling its latent potential to escape from its wooden room and form a burgeoning cloudscape. [Apr 2011, p.83]
  10. Feb 23, 2011
    80
    Each of Hecker's layers are shards, something incomplete, but with just enough shards, a fragmented, disturbed image is formed, and that is the result of Ravedeath, 1972.
  11. 80
    While it definitely is more static and sustain, you really need to turn this up, put down whatever else you're doing, and connect with it in the moment, as this is very present music. It feels like a refined version of his past esthetics, and is more intense for the limitations he has decided to work under.
  12. Feb 23, 2011
    80
    His inventive and affective pairing of resonating melodies and noise is impossible to deconstruct--that is to say, narrow down to a specified meaning or reason behind each piece. We, the listener, get to apply each of Hecker's abstractions to whichever feeling we choose. That's definitely an ocean worth diving into.
  13. Feb 23, 2011
    80
    Hecker's latest seems to ultimately be about making peace with our mortality, and as such is his most powerful album yet.
  14. Feb 23, 2011
    80
    The overall effect of Ravedeath, 1972 is a balance between sheer sonic wooziness and a focused sense of construction; nothing seems wholly random in each song's development even as the feeling can be increasingly disorienting.
  15. Feb 23, 2011
    76
    Generally speaking that's good enough, especially since trying to find specific meaning in this kind of music is a largely futile exercise that I and others at CMG still occasionally agonize our way through against our better judgment. Perhaps the appeal of this music lies in nothing more or less than how painstakingly moulded it is, and in that respect Hecker will probably always release really impressive records.
  16. May 18, 2011
    70
    It has many of the same sounds and instruments he relies upon-mauled pianos, organs, and guitars, mostly-but the way they're structured within the songs and as part of the whole are new. The record seems to have no center, no shining single moment, no climax or vortex. Instead it hovers lightly but ominously, like the notes in the songs themselves, hanging in midair without ever dropping to the floor.
  17. Feb 23, 2011
    70
    Hecker's freshest exploration of the life of rave death comes thoroughly recommended.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Mar 8, 2011
    9
    A startlingly beautiful album, Hecker's 6th studio effort sees his always immense style become even more so. With a sound never anything less than colossal, "Ravedeath, 1972" was recorded in a church in Iceland which is plain to hear; the sound reverberates to the point that at times it feels as if there's a solid wall of sound surging towards you through your headphones. An enormous ambient masterpiece. Full Review »
  2. Sep 28, 2012
    10
    I am a massive fan of Hecker, and the way he can manipulate a church organ into the most beautiful, delicate, eerie, catastrophic, emotional, beautiful & destructive album I have ever listened to is unbelievable. This album's perfection & beauty cannot be put into words; The best album of 2011 in my opinion. Full Review »
  3. Sep 14, 2011
    10
    Tim Hecker more than delivers, giving the listener a beautiful yet bleak landscape to explore. The album's twists and turns remain exciting after multiple listens and stands as the best album of 2011 for me. Full Review »