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Italy's Vanessa Van Basten reside among a rare breed of bands (loosely categorized as "post-rock") that truly create instead of simply copy. At times lush and layered, at others minimal and haunting, Closer to the Small/Dark/Door's breadth is the result of years in the underground. Although quite heavy, the album employs far more atmosphere and ambiance than its contemporaries. Acoustic / classical instrument tracks conjure visions of Mogwai conducted by Ennio Morricone, while programming-centric tracks imagine Swans personnel falling hard for a Mediterranean girl who listens to a lot of Godflesh and Jesu. Nothing fits snugly into place, though--Vanessa Van Basten pushes genre boundaries in more than one direction. Thankfully, these veterans know the importance of "too much" vs "not enough." Closer to the Small/Dark/Door is a truly unique 50 minutes of rock music.