Apr 1, 2012
The album is centered around down-tuned guitar played over the top of a whole lot of droning ambience that is harsh, distorted and ugly sadistic noise. Think Khanate, Sunn 0)), music played by black metal zombies on prozac and you will be getting close to what is happening here. Songs are slow, buried in muddy sound but they are also surprisingly inventive pieces that bring up something new each time you give it a listen. Passages move from the melancholic to the absolutely crushing but it has to be said from the outset that the average doom metal fan won't make it past 10 minutes of this and that is a shame because there is a lot of great moments to be found here. Even though the 2 tracks are insanely long and slow-moving, there are not much in the way or repetitive passages. Sometimes the variations are subtle and if you are not paying attention you will miss them. Other changes are more obvious but it all comes back to the length and the general sound of these pieces and that is where problems arise.
In a sentence, this album is equivocating vocal shrieks over the top of snail paced blackened drones and funeralized guitar chords and you don't get much more with this album. Luckily though, what they do is great and it is so good that if you are an experienced listener of extreme doom and drone, you should be able to sit through this album without too much trouble. As with most droning doom acts, the emphasis is on minimalism but in this case the minimalism is layered with all kinds of added ingredients which makes this more interesting than the usual generic drone-doom album. The vocals while tedious at times break into chants which come from the texts that inspired the concept behind the album and that is a nice but ominous touch. Guitars switch from monolithic chords to plucking acoustics to ambient distorted passages. The drumming however rarely changes from the standard funeral doom drum patterns you have heard a million times before.
The concept behind the album is interesting but gets lost within the music so that is hardly a selling point and musically, it is not the most exciting release going around but it is intriguing and a mesmerizing example of what can be done with the droning doom style. Of course many will find that monotony sets in early and it is obviously an album you need to be in the mood for and I don't know how often that mood will arise for most listeners; My guess is not too often. For fans; was this an album worth waiting 8 years for? I think that answer will be a big YES. For people who have never heard the band, this could be a test of your patience levels but most real doom metal fans have adapted their listening for long, drawn out pieces of disturbingly bleak pieces of music so you guys should be able to handle it. Dark, disturbing, bleak, and ritualistic - this is one of the most challenging doom albums to be released in some time.....7/10
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