As quickly as the CD comes on and the sound enters into your brain the vibe is evident. Brian Lavelle's "Ustrina," which features only one sixty eight minute track titled "Pyre Nullity," seems almost weightless. The sounds drift like fog slowly coming down a mountain as the sun gently comes up. It seems to hint at some kind of unconscious experience, like sleepwalking. The sounds hover over you so slowly that you almost don't even realize they are there. As the sounds continues on you begin to realize that maybe you aren't the one that is sleepwalking, you are the person creeping behind, following the sleepwalker. You don't know where they are going but they are surely going somewhere with certain mystery. They take you deep into the dark woods only to stumble upon, as the cover depicts, a bridge that leads to a mysterious gate. The whole scene is lit up as if there is light at the end of a tunnel but at the end of the tunnel is only a gate that will take you to the next step in a long journey to who knows what.
"Pyre Nullity" reminds me of a dream that I'm sure a number of people have had; a dream where you are searching for something but you never know what it is you are looking for so you just keep looking only to never find anything. In "Pyre Nullity" voices seemed to be whispering throughout trying to help you but they are only lost in the dense fog. In the end you finally find what you are only looking for but what you find only adds to the mystery because you don't know what is or what you should do with it.
Among the many layers of "Pyre Nullity," Lavelle has worked in certain passages that have been "reworked, rejuvenated and redefined" from unreleased recordings that he did more than a decade ago. In the press release for "Ustrina" Lavelle sums it up nicely: "cross the bridge, open the gate, move within." 7/10 -- Jon Lorenz (24 June, 2009)