Finally it arrives: the debut release from Esto Perpetua Records a new black/noise/experimental label out of New Brunswick,USA. It is founded by a individual of profound insight and bizarre talents, Saqib Malik (Sifr, Corpsepyre).
It is four way split between some of the bands on the label. I had heard 2 of the mentioned bands, T.O.M.B and Black Albatross, already and was expecting great things. I was not dissapointed.
Things start off on a suitably ferocious note with T.O.M.B and the industro-black blast of “Spiritual Dominance”. Raw vocals over a fast yet dirge-like backdrop of noisy guitars and strange drum sounds (is it a drum machine or a guy with a hammer and auto parts ?). The second track “Rekindle the Essence of Death” is where the slow motion decay of the band makes greatest impact. Tribal beats and morose chords clang together with the bile of the vocals to great and trance inducing effect. But this is not a complacent trance as very eerie choir like noises in the background keep the proceeding on this side of edgy. Its like the soundtrack to bio-mechanical sacrifice to a decaying cyborg god.The 3rd track is closer to more typical noise fare with loud echoey drums and vocals making up the over-amplified wall of noise. The last T.O.M.B track ends on a calmer (illbient ?) moment of industrial regression.
This leads to what is undoubtedly the highlights of the CD, the two offerings from Black Albatross. These 2 tracks build on the debut album The Green Wall, and end up being something anyone who claims to be into any kind of experimental metal must hear. The first is brain-altering cover of “Freezing Moon”. To say that the song goes places is an understatement. From the recognizable intro riffing (albeit in hypnotizing almost industrial setting)to the wall-of-noise climaxes (which threaten to overhelm the listener) this touches nerves and is sure to be a point of contention amongst the kvlt brigade. I found myself coming back to this awesome interpretation again and again. The second track is a original that shows the dichomy of Black Albatross : machine like rhythms and very odd noises (maybe some guitars?) leading tot he wall of noise hyper blast. The most disquieting bit is the last part of the song with the very odd-frequencied noise that causes a very eerie and negative feeling in the listener. A good metaphor would be David Lynch doing indsutrial black metal.
Panther Modern is the closest thing on this release to noise artists. But even here, there is sense of structure, as the minimal frequencies phase in and out canceling or resonating each other to create new periodic cycles. Mostly it sounds like it was composed using bad cables, cheap amps and the joys of feedback. These are the 2 tracks that I wimped out on, being the closet traditionalist at heart.
Amorte continued the more experimental theme but was way more interesting and the two tracks probably scared the shit out of my neighbors. It has calm moments of speech samples and stream of consciousness in sea of ambient noise which gets ripped apart by distorted screams that are pure waves of nihilistic fury. The odd vocalizations elevate this to the stratosphere and the technique keeps it there.
The production on all 4 sections compliments the dark and oppressive nature of the music but does not ever go to incoherent extremes (though it pretty much touches all other extremes).
So all in all,this is a great release showing some of the dark edges of the land where black metal and noise meet. 3 of the 4 bands here have something I found invigoratingly original, and even the one I will not come back to often (Panther Modern)is merely due to my in ability in understanding more open ended noise.
But mark my words: the label is headed for legendary status. Hand numbered 666 copies only, so get ordering directly from the label site.
Label: Esto Perpetua Records
Avantgenre: Black noise
Official site: http://web.archive.org/web/20090530152625/http://www.estoperpetuarecords.com/
Review online since: 21.01.2009 / 18:04:18