As someone who spends a lot of time listening to over-the-top music, the notion of scarcity is one that I admire--even if that means gazing longingly from across the vast expanse of the promo pit’s turbulent waters. And so, my ears a-buzz from that which came before, I cast about looking for something that doesn’t dwell in complexity. A band that breaks their craft down to the basic elements. To this end, a two-piece instrumental death metal band seemed like it would do the trick--guitar, drums, and nothing else to complicate the matter. And so, without reading any biographical info beyond that, I fired up Fermentor, expecting some straightforward death tunes, sans vocals. In other words, the “lo-fi beats to chill to” of the death metal ecosystem.
...And man, was I ever wrong.
Given the multitude of new releases that, on a daily basis, traipse through the eel-infested waters of the Sleeping Village’s moat, only to hurtle themselves headlong into the unfathomable depths of the promo pit, my views on listening for enjoyment have changed significantly over the past few years. I used to meticulously hunt down albums that would, through mass repetition, become lifelong favorites. That was the ultimate goal: find music that neared perfection, in my narrow and subjective gaze. However, I am now quite content to spend time in the enjoyment of music that I know will satiate me for a few days before it is time, once more, to move on. If I happen to return to it later on? Great. If not? That’s fine too--sometimes music can be good without providing significant staying power.
Here’s a factoid our eagle-eyed archivist doesn’t expect anyone to recall: back in the primordial days of this site, we published a track review of the delightfully entitled “Obstrinxerit,” from a Albuquerque-dwelling sludge duo named Sword Horse. It made an impression on me then--to quote: “‘Obstrinxerit’ maintains a free-flowing ambiance, an irresistible pull into a cave that is too small. In this case, Death doesn’t beckon, so much as leave you with no other option.” Chilling stuff.
Given a certain enamorment with this track, as well as a healthy appreciation for their prior work, I was suitably intrigued by the release of a self-titled EP way back in August of last year. I listened to the damn thing quite frequently, a little sludge-me-up between other releases. Despite an intent to put pen to paper and scratch out a review, I simply...didn’t. And so the apology tour continues. I arise today from an apparent Rip Van Winkle situation to inform you that, unlike yours truly, you really shouldn’t look this gift Sword Horse in the mouth.
Written: The Voiceless Apparition
I just want to preface this review by saying that I'm a Rae Amitay fan. I think she is a highly original, unique, and diverse musician in a world full of rip-offs and corner-cutters. Be it Immortal Bird, her work with Thrawsunblat, etc., she puts her distinctive stamp on all of these projects. So when I heard the news that she was making her own band in which she composes and writes everything, I was ecstatic. errant is described by Rae as "a vehicle for realizing ideas that exist in a separate space from Immortal Bird", and that has me intrigued.
Right off the bat, this EP is significantly different than anything she has ever done before. The opening track "The Amorphic Burden" alone runs the gamut of alternative rock, post-metal, and small tinges of black metal. The dynamics in this song are beautiful; the way this song flows between the more melodic and subdued parts and the more intense and heavy sections is particularly well done. I'm really loving the melodies in this song as well. "The Amorphic Burden" proves the point that metal can have hooks and still be kickass.
“…people will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious…”
Written by: Cantina
A possibly controversial (?) statement: music is mostly made of repressed and/or unspeakable emotions. Long lost are the times when I somehow believed black metal musicians’ real life persona coincided with the fictitious one, that wherever they went, gloom and misery accompanied them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: black metal would be a metaphysical gold mine for Jungian scholars. This genre is the Shadow Self of metal music (of any music type, for that matter). I would go as far as saying that a proper understanding of Carl Gustav Jung’s philosophy will give you the knowledge to understand what is going on in the seemingly “twisted” mind of any musician.
Black metal is of course a prime example of that.
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.
What are ye looking for?