Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Locrian – Drenched Lands
Although the prolific Chicago based Locrian duo, André Foisy and Terence Hannum, had quiet a few releases since Drenched Lands, I’m still enjoying this dense, drone heavy, massive album. Released on a Scottish drone/noise label, At War With False Noise and Small Doses in 2009, and later repressed by BloodLust!, Utech, and DeathSmile, Drenched Lands is a dark voyage into post-apocalyptic land of abandoned concrete highways and obsolete ruined structures. The inner desperation of desolate landscapes and overgrown wastelands is conveyed with howling vocals, growling guitars and power electronics, blending dark ambient and black metal into cacophony of thick layered sonic palette. With its narrative structure, the album “starts with a slow descent into a dark abyss, moving torturedly, gradually rediscovering the light, then leaving you where everything began – completely transformed”. Background distorted riffs are punctuated with foreground guitar strums in an epic buildup, appealing to cinematic soundtracks of deep caverns and cold cells. The last, 30-minute track, is a complete trip. If you dig this sound, be sure to also pick up Locrian’s Rain of Ashes (Fan Death, 2009) and their latest album, Territories (2010).
The Golden Sores – A Peaceable Kingdom
Kicking off with soaring guitars and mid-range background drone, The Golden Sores, open up their sophomore album, A Peaceable Kingdom. This is another release by the Chicago-based BloodLust! label, which has already put out numerous records by the above mentioned Locrian. Unlike the latter (also from Chicago), Christopher Miller and Steve Fors tend to create resonating reverberations mostly in the major key, physically abusing your ears to euphoric heights that can only be reached at higher volumes. A Peaceable Kingdom is an album without any percussion, composed entirely of vibrating strings and oscillating synths, smudged layer upon layer through effects chains and pedals until its density is viscous with blood slowly oozing somewhere from your cranium. These sounds, meshing between the incredibly beautiful and the insanely grotesque, create an atmosphere of lust and anguish, as only music can, in a single sonic onslaught. My favorite exercise is to keep raising the volume throughout the track, as my ears adjust to the levels, then hitting the stop button, absorbing the ringing silence with apparition and fumes of ghostly melodies, then hitting play again to get slapped with the noise. Be sure to pick up the duo’s debut release, Ashdod to Ekron , available from Drone Cowboy.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Rabid Rabbit kicked off the night with a powerhouse doom set, and the talk of the night was about how strong and focused they continue to feel with the addition of Dan on guitar. Amazing stuff! But as I told Arman, when they began their "Suicide Song" (AKA, their cover of "Gloomy Sunday"), I got a little teary not being up there.
Neil Jendon was up next and the massive low-end belching out of his synth set-up literally caused one of the giant speaker towers to vibrate off of its table/stand, and somehow, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it sailing through the air and I managed to grab its handle before it hit the ground. He straddled a very interesting line between unsettling, powerful noise and nearly minimal techno, in a bizarre way. Like the throb-throb I mentioned in the Cities In Flight" CD write-up. And what a great ending/outro!
We (Anatomy of Habit) were up next and we tried a new way of starting "Torch," by entering the stage one man at a time, which seemed to add a nice layering effect to the song. We did a pretty stretched-out version of it, before shifting gears and playing a very "bright" (? - maybe not lyrically) version of "After The Water." I believe that we all felt really good about our set and from the sounds of the recording that I made, we seemed to have a good night... It certainly felt great while it was going down.
Wolf Eyes were left to play a truly dynamic, slow-building set, that moved from those classic dark basement creeper moments to full-blown hard, rubbery beats with Nate's full on screams. Of the many times that I have seen them live, this was probably the most varied and multi-dimensional set that I can think of... I don't think I want to wait another year to see them again, but this certainly made the wait worthwhile. It was a monster!
Thanks to Whitney and Robert at the Viaduct Theater for hosting us, and major thanks to Shauna for such kick-ass live sound all night!
After loading the gear back in, we had late night take-away tacos and burritos - from San Juan, of course - enjoyed backyard-style until the mosquitoes proved to be tougher than we were. The Wolves fled the throne room early, heading back home to Michigan as we speak...