Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crucial Blast on The Fortieth Day

The Fortieth Day  "Pelusium: 540 AD"   CD

Here's another reissue disc from The Fortieth Day, the grim industrial side project from Bloodyminded members Mark Solotroff and Isidro Reyes. I've been slowly making my way through the collection of Fortieth Day discs that Solotroff has been releasing on his Bloodlust! label, because as much as I dig the high-frequency terror of Bloodyminded, I find myself coming back to the intense blackened industrial dronescapes of this project much more often.
Pelusium 540 AD, the title a reference to the first recorded outbreak of Black Plague, was released on cassette in 2007 on the Australian label Cipher Productions, and appears here remastered on disc for the first time. Like most of the other Fortieth Day releases, it's made up of two half hour tracks of monstrously heavy and relentlessly bleak machine dronesludge that the duo create using drum machines, bass, synth and guitar, with thick, oceanic waves of black bass rumble and roiling low-frequency smog seething underneath a constantly shifting surface of looped mechanical noises, droning feedback, swells of eerie melodic drift, scraping rhythms, smears of corroded chug run backwards. The first track is massive, monstrous, a dense and hypnotic blast of tectonic machinedirge, while the second is more abstract, a storm of jet-engine drones and howling feedback. A factory-din filled with sparse percussive cracks and random banging and repetitive rattling, the first eight minutes a rumbling, droning wall of low end noise, but then hints of melody start to surface, streaks of feedback and electronics bending into pretty little fragments of melodic sound that flit over the oppressive murk. It's a bleak, apocalyptic noisescape way out on the heavier end of the spectrum, with a heavy undercurrent of bonerattling bassdrone and amp-filth that makes this of interest to fans of the sort of industrial anti-rock that you might have heard on HeadDirt back in the early 90s.