The darkness is palpable from the very beginning, as the crushing opening chords and venomous vocals give way to a haunting whispered section in the opener “No Visible Help (Hold Tight)”. This bleeds into a grooving mid-paced section, and some amazing post-rock stoner grooves, complete with clean QOTSA-esque vocals. But the feel remains unique throughout, and flows perfectly into “Forging Two Tongues / The Reckoning”. I like how it sounds effortless, with a very organic ambiance throughout, including the decidedly hard rock riff that makes a couple of appearances, before being decimated by an avalanche of confused human noises and semi-blasts. Honestly speaking, it is hard to find a genre or a comparison for this insane sound. The vocals go back and forth between almost hardcore hysterics and a more cleaner baritone (lending a new wave/goth touch). The warm (and slightly fuzzy) production fully enhances this unhinged duo’s goals, and even the odd snare tone works here. This epic track ends on a definitely grim note.
“Right over the Helm” is a slow grooving post-rock track with the now recognizable vocals of Patrick, showing remarkable restraint and managing to keep a certain tension throughout, despite the dreamy wide open feel of the instrumentation. The intensity is upped a couple of notches half-way through, the chords managing to reference doom metal and later Voivod at the same time. There are at least 4 distinct movements, the last of which acts as a climax (with crazy rolls, a mood enhancing organ, and bludgeoning repetitive reffing).
The EP ends on “Lullaby” which true to its name, starts of with dreamy xylophone like tones, before a slow lurching groove kicks your reverie into the abyss. The echo laden vocals and haunting pads make sure that the listener is uncomfortable, as the simple but effective riffs pulls you in.
The press sheet mentions names like Jesu or Cult of Luna, and while I hear elements of the latter, any resemblance to the former is purely incidental. This is definitely a unique sounding debut and deserves your attention.
1 – No Visible Help (Hold Tight!)
2 – Forging Two Tongues / A Reckoning
3 – Right Over To The Helm
4 – Lullaby