Written by: Adam Paris
This is an album for staring into the ocean, watching the respiring of the sea, until your vision goes out of focus and you are no longer able to tell whether the shapes and shadows you see are a product of you or the waters. It is the kind of immersion in which the self is, for a moment, dissolved into something larger. This is an album that clears space and moves you through it--or moves it around you.
The album opens with 'The Grave Receives You': we feel a storm approaching over vast plains; the cold wind before a hailstorm; and, then: it breaks over us, guitar striking chaotically amid a vortex of drums, creating a dizzying rotary speaker effect.
"Willow of the Worms" uses acoustic guitar and organ to induce an initial trance. One has the feeling of falling--or is it floating?--through indeterminate darkness. A voice emerges, not to pull you down, but to call out like another lost soul, swimming through the deep black, driven mad with the grief of facing a purgatorial eternity. And then you find yourself no longer falling, no longer floating, but being clawed into Hell. The horror gives way to resignation, as the acoustic guitar returns to play your trudging walk up the path before the gates of Hell.
We hear distortion next--the sound of singeing paper, of signing our name in the luciferian guestbook with a plume dipped in boiled blood. "Cadaverous Decay of the Swirling Shell" documents our first steps in the confines of Hell, our first view of the torture of souls that have ceased to beg mercy. There is in the background an almost choir-like singing, as if even in damnation, we must add to our tortures the faint sound of the Seraphim to which we'll never be audience.
"The Cursed Marshlands of Suffering" recalls Werner Herzog on the jungle during the making of Fitzcarraldo, in that we find ourselves trudging through a land "created in anger." The mud sucking on our boots, the calls of creatures looking to rend flesh, in the loveless embrace of a blighted land that cannot be placated or escaped.
After those four tracks--together about 40 minutes of intensely searching music--"Legions of Dead Spawn" slams the record open. The desert spirits have sought to destroy us for wandering onto their sacred wasteland: we are under demonic assault. The riff here is cyclonic: we are picked up and thrown around, sandblasted until raw, showered with creeping creatures, poisonous, fanged; our blood the only rain this land has seen.
The rest of the album is equally strong and shows off a diverse set of influences: from industrial noise in the form of the struggling-against-the-coffin-lid-as-the-nails-are-driven-in of "Older Than Serpent"; to the post-punk nuclear winter of "Spine Stitched," where the rotary speaker effect is so pronounced as to make everything sound swallowed up by the blast beat; to dark ambient and drone of the early minutes of "Windwalker" that put you straight on the path of a screaming sawmill. The guitar in album-standout "The Haunted Corners of Familiar Rooms" recalls slipping under the suffocating velvet of My Bloody Valentine. The track captures the horror and mourning that attend catharsis and transformation: the terror and excitement of the man who fears what the full moon will do to him.
Burier - Burier III (In Communion With Death) was independently released April 20th, 2020
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!