Friday, March 1, 2013

Horn's doom, just for you - featuring Batillus and Norte

Hello again. It is I, Horn. Nice to see you. Perhaps you'd like to come in...? Maybe you would like some Shom-pahn-yah?

There, relax. Have a seat, and help yourself to some pigs in blankets whilst I regale you, Herman Melville-style, with my two tales of extreme doom.

It comes in two forms, this doom. The first is Batillus and their newest, Concrete Sustain.

Batillus are like Godflesh playing Sonic Youth, or Helmet covering the Pixies. There are very cool.

I hated this at first; I was expecting them to sound like they always did, what with their previous Kowloon Walled City-ish industrial sludgy doom sound and all...

But once I heard this as if it were from another, new band, it really grew on me.

Concrete Sustain is a big departure for Batillus, but one very well done:

It takes certain aspects of signature sounds from previous releases (i.e., they still sound like they're playing the same instruments and recording at the same place as before), but they switch up the songwriting in two ways:
One, there are actually some conventional "songs," in that there are recognizably distinct sections, but two, the type of song has even changed-- and of all things more toward an alternative rock bent.

It's still crushingly heavy, it's not a softening particularly, but there is definitely some Morrissey or some shit way in the background, influencing this thing.

The second tale of sonic misery and woe is from the one-man act known as Norte and their/his Galgenfrist.

The third track  is "Af Døde," and it, like the rest of this 2007 album of blackened ambient sludgy funeral doom, is the sound of kenopsia, "The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that's usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet… an emotional after-image that makes it seem not just empty, but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs."The sirens that kick in in the second half of the tune are discomfiting, but ambiguously, because it's not clear which of two scary alternatives are occurring:

There are sounds like huge, hollow, forlorn sirens, wailing and wailing-- the question is, did they just start sounding off, and if so, what the fuck for, or two: they've been going off for a long time, in which case what the fuck happened here? In either case, the conspicuous absence of people in this soundscape inevitably returns to, drips back down into, that kenopsia.

Love you the Doom? Then drink up the above, and heartily!

Or not, it's whatevs.


--Horn

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