Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Superlative three way split of intense, introverted blackened dooming drone, frosted over with a sorrowful and freezing emptiness. The draw here, for me at least, is the track from the mighty LDRTFS, also known as Like Drone Razors Through Flesh Sphere, a project of anonymous singular membership with a crushing array of hyper-limited underground releases. LDRTFS appear to have some sort of ties to the black metal community, as their first proper release (a CD retrospective of previously released demos) came out on the always excellent Goatowarex label, allied in my mind with the absolute best of depressive black metal. LDRTFS's contribution here is a 30 minute crusher of a track, a whispered hush of whistling ambience that grows and grows, eventually giving way to a volcanic explosion of plodding, ridiculously blown-out ultra-doom, complete with staggering, stuttering drum programming and gigantic, monolithic slabs of guitar ooze. No vocals to speak of, only a universe of bleak atmospherics brought to life via electricity and contempt. Fucking stunning in every way and well worth the price of admission.
Gate to Void are an entity that i am completely unfamiliar with. Judging from the three tracks showcased here, they're an ambient project concerned mostly with keyboard/synthesizer landscapes. There is a kiss of guitar on the first track, some lonely arpeggiated clean minor voicings and then everything after is a thin wash of early morning sorrowtone, like the pink crystalline skyline of a winter dawn. Track two is a Xasthur cover that fails in every respect, as Xasthur knows ambience better than almost anyone working in black metal today and to even try and bring something else to such an already dense and rich composition is pointless. What GTV thought they could bring to the table is anyone's guess but it's no horn of black metal plenty as far as these discerning ears are concerned. Coming after the LDRTFS track, these three songs just seem unnecessary, as they don't come anywhere close to the power on display throughout the disc's first 30 minutes. Maybe some resequencing would have been appropriate here.
The split ends with another project unknown to me, Aeon Nought, who are even more closely allied to depressive black metal in sound than LDRTFS. Aeon Nought is all scraggly, heavily effected crying guitar dirge, ultra-sad and imbued with an infinite sort of yearn that impressed me right away. The sound here is very trebly as well but with all the delays and echoes the sound works and becomes a ghostly, ethereal presence, a sort of hovering remembrance of time wasted and a lifetime of regrets left behind. I found Aeon Nought's side of the split to be extremely effective in conveying a mood of total hopelessness and am eager to here more from this person, whoever it is, in the future.
Again, the real star here is LDRTFS. Splits are rarely balanced in quality; there's always one band that you're buying this shit for and for me it's LDRTFS. If this had been a two-way between GTV and Aeon Nought there's no way i would have been interested unless it were on a trusted label. With LDRTFS's track, it's a 75 minute descent into purgatory, an unflinching look at tedium and banality. If you can handle the oppression, then invest. Otherwise LDRTFS's comp disc on Goatowarex is a better place to start.

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