Album Reviews

Album Reviews

Daniel Mahoney


It Came From Within

Artist: Clairvoyant Hatelurker

Album: Annihilation From Within

Label: Buried Antler

Frenzied leads, frantic bits of spidery operatic vocals, dizzying chants like an entire race of forest sprites drowning in a bone dense fiendswamp, the crushing low end guitar cascade, the post lamprey lumber-misery and doomic blackness, song titles like: Raw Prophecy, Unearthed Molten Lead Incineration, All Consuming Ashen Canvas, Rosenthal's Psychotic Atrocities, Sorrow Cursed In Frostbitten Battlefields; this can mean only one thing: the return of the abyss-fetishistic blackmetal horde, Clairvoyant Hatelurker! The putrefied sucker-punch and weirdly recycled guttural blackchants of Clairvoyant Hatelurker! The fucked up creepy reproductive soundslaughter of Clairvoyant Hatelurker! The fury, the beastglory, the dense demonic wailing, the echo-y hornblasts, the massive riffage, the off kilter speedblast interludes, the unhinged necro-tribalism of Clairvoyant Hatelurker! After years of silence from Norway's über-celebrated anti-Christian superstars, Clairvoyant Hatelurker is back with their most distorted slab of inspiringly damaged grimrobed fury: Annihilation From Within. Band members Nregal Colossi, Meslam, Belial, Cthulhu Spawn, and Mortem Diligit wrapped themselves in a forest cabin outside Fjellstrand, Norway composing a book and contemplating shattered spruce trees and demonically glowing ice crystals. Each musician spent days at a time alone in the autistic winterdark of Fjellstrand. Once back in the cabin, the initiate would lay down all night blitzkriegs of riotous razorsharp marrow-baked misery in the soundproof studio…a sort of satanic visionquest for metalhissing grimfaced Nordic pilgrims. Insane! As for the music, it is a propulsive brew of scattershot mesmeric guitar speed-buzz and off-sounding slitherfield, like sun crushed blast-ballads full of expansive dark motion. The tattered sadness of Sorrow Cursed In Frostbitten Battlefields with its oddly rectangular stopbreaks and soaring violin swells, evokes a lone man walking toward the childhood village he knows has been bled into a banquet of nausea. It is all here: epically gnarled squall, overblown fuzzed-out dirges, atonal minor key guitar progressions. Imagine…guitars are chalices, chalices are full of blood, and blood pours over a marble altar full of mutilated she-goats! Now you're getting there. Stunning! Unsettled!


Plunged Into

Artist: Tølt

Album: Who Dresses This Alien Forest?

Label: (Sideyard)

With Tølt, it’s always a question of vistas: Who Dresses This Alien Forest? is thigh-deep in sonic mist like when you walk to the house or post office or go to fill a bottle full of Xanax and sense even the soft muffled ground is a sort of narcotic, the furry breathing walls of sound seem a dream of snow slow to erase into. I used to go on week long Quaalude binges that felt erased into, but they were nothing like this. The world turning in on itself, a steadfast drizzle hiding the river nearby and the hiss of riverbank falling into water as if water were devouring earth in rank, salacious ways. Who Dresses This Alien Forest? is expansive in its ambient-washed noisebliss from the very first blast of otherworld drift, like a prison cell with ragged green bars of brush and vine and a mud floor to sink into, as soundslogs belly over your hirsute existence. Slowcore. Feel it expanding down the inseam of your trousers, across the floor and out into the shells of mollusks populating the backyard aviary where nothing moves save goldfinches swooping backward from the blown out spectral majesty in bloom beneath them. If you listen closely you can just make out in the dronepop sparkle the descent into a land of brume and strange rocks where waterlogs and lumbering erect old lovers on distant drifts like flags of dead nations. When you step out to see them you strain to hear their shattered anthems once again. As the doom symphony drones on above the rivermoan, its last movement resolutely shingles the ethereal drift of latenight wooded motordrives where the moon rises like a vinyl record above the hobo camp, rises like white stone above the drum circle. And for the denouement you toss your last two dimes into the shabby ruin of a broken cornfield so the rains will come again. Who Dresses This Alien Forest? indeed!

All rights reserved to Daniel Mahoney.

Notes from the W. Forest

Notes from the W. Forest

Out Loud, I Prayed for Rain

Out Loud, I Prayed for Rain