by Slav Ka
They say that in order to cure a phobia, you must first face it. If you have a fear of public speaking, you must find yourself a wedding or a funeral and force yourself to give a speech. If you have a fear of water, you must at some point make your way into a pool. And if you are claustrophobic, you must eventually face your fear and find a tight space. Or, you could save yourself the pain and the hassle and just listen to Aera's excellent Moon Palace, since the track is what claustrophobia sounds like. It is short and simple and, as such, launches into dread with ferocity and single-mindedness of a Porsche being floored on a race track. It feels less like a cavernous palace on the moon but more like being suddenly trapped in an elevator with lights off: the opening frenetic rhythm immediately dials the sense of anxiety and claustrophobia to 11. Few additional elements that get blended only enhance the sense of dread. Possible salvation or escape may come in the form of the main theme with its space-y, house-y, almost dubby chords but that sense of hope quickly fades as Aera wraps his arms around those chords and sonically chokes the life out of them. And then it's over..your fear is gone.