Adrian Marksman came to my attention about a week ago with his latest album. During this time, I’ve developed a picture heavily characterized by underground qualities, embracing dirtiness, edginess, messiness, and complexity on the musical side. Today, I spent my Friday morning listening to Ultrasigil several times on different mediums, which ultimately led me to revisit some retro rock classics by Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, and Muse. It’s also worth mentioning that after finishing my Ultrasigil listening session, Spotify introduced me to a promising post-rock band called Lost in Kiev for a good reason where I thoroughly enjoyed the transition.
First and foremost, Ultrasigil stands out for its retro sound character, drawing heavy inspiration from the 70s to 90s rock in all its variety, ranging from art to grunge, post-rock to alternative, and from prog-rock to gothic, both musically and in terms of sound production. However, the main distinguishing factor for me was the level of underground qualities it possesses.
On the musical side, I can clearly hear potential. Adrian Marksman, in this project, assumes the role of a one-man orchestra; handling composition, writing, recording, performing, and production work from start to finish. He explored the retro territories of rock, seamlessly blending influences from the classics of that era. His vocal tone immediately reminded me of the legendary Mick Jagger, while his artsy character of Alice Cooper, poetic performance evoked shades of Lou Reed, particularly from his collaborative work with Metallica, “Lulu.” In fact, Adrian goes even further and also explores gothic, alternative, prog, and grunge rock, adding another layer of depth to his rich personal concept.
I’d also like to touch on the fourth track, “A Great Thing,” which took me by surprise. The concept here is heavily influenced by The Rolling Stones, accompanied by elements reminiscent of the 80s and 90s. What these eras share is a compactness that makes them fantastic in the first place. In my perspective, one of the reasons why The Rolling Stones are undeniably legendary is their unique approach to artistic interpretation. This was also why I revisited “Anybody Seen My Baby” after listening to “A Great Thing”; and that made me believe they share something in common. Although this was the highlight of my listening experience, it also underscored the hidden potential within the work.