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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Deathstench / Trepaneringsritualen - Split

Artist: Deathstench / Trepaneringsritualen
Album: Split
Year: 2013
Label: Malignant Records
Genre: Black Noise, Ritual Ambient
Website: www.malignantrecords.com

Vinyl split from two of the recent Malignant signings. Comes on a 12in picture disc. From what I've heard, these picture discs have pretty bad sound quality, however with these particular acts I really don't think that is going to matter much. The Deathstench art is awesome.

The first two songs come from Deathstench. Going along with their recent full length, they provide two cuts of extremely harsh, black noise. The first track "Damnum Minatum" is basically 5 minutes of a hellish, filthy wall of noise, covered in tons of distortion and limited to shit and beyond (adding to the abrasiveness and poor sound quality). There are some muted distorted screams buried in the mix which fit very well. It feels like the world is being broken down and stripped away. The second track "Temples of Dust" is similar, but this one is less abrasive and is focused around a low end drone. This time the screams are front and center and not buried under reverb or distortion (apparently they are from the vocalist of Khanate, which is cool). They don't really mesh that well (kind of overly loud), but I do like them and they fit with the general scary, confrontational vibe. Unfortunately, the song is basically the same exact thing for 10 minutes and could have been shorter, or they should have added in more elements over time to develop the idea. That said, in a nutshell Deathstench embodies hell and torment. There is not much that is particularly "enjoyable" and absolutely nothing "accessible" about this "music". But if you are looking for completely fucking necro hellish suffering that will pummel your senses until you become one (or nothing) with the black ether, than definitely give these guys a listen. Some of the harshest shit out there, while still containing some semblance of atmosphere. Overall, I like and appreciate what they are going for, but they could do quite a bit more with these compositions and still evoke that vibe.
The third song is an 18 minute piece from the much hailed Trepaneringsritualen. To be honest, I am not that familiar with his work, but I know that this project has generated a ton of interest in recent years. I suppose I see the intrigue behind it; he makes super old school dark/ritual ambient. Everything sounds incredibly 80s/90s and carries that bleak / ancient sound (I imagine an old, damaged b&w film of some guys wandering through seemingly forgotten catacombs and stumbling into a ritual room during some kind of arcane ceremony - apparently this song is for the invocation of Mímir [Norse, "the wise one"], which intrigues me greatly). To be honest, I prefer good/modern production, but I do see the appeal of this and didn't find myself wanting to turn this song off; the last 8 or so minutes are especially good and "ritual-y". The track starts with a long spell of crumbling & decaying noises and, though it takes quite a while to get going, it progresses steadily over it's lengthy duration, slowly building into a pulsing, hypnotic rhythm and adding in vocals towards the end. I think this piece would be much more interesting to see performed live in a fitting venue (church, catacomb, etc) with accompanying visuals...though of course it is enjoyable as is.

[*note: i got mp3s of this which were in alphabetical order, TxRxP is actually the A side and Deathstench is the B side]

Fans of this kind of ultra dark, lo-fi, and occasionally abrasive music will enjoy this split. Each side does a fine job of capturing the general sound of the artist and will certainly appeal to those who already enjoy these projects. It's always exciting to see two acts team up and create a split, as well as release vinyl in general. So, respect to all involved for that.

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