Sun Splitter- II (Land of Decay)
I don’t know that much about metal, but I know what I like… these days there probably more metal bands than ever before, and unfortunately most of them aren’t creepy, antisocial dudes that hang out in forests pretending they’re pagan warriors. Most of them are just high school kids who downloaded Burzum and bought some metal shirts at the mall. Sun Splitter, however, are pretty creepy, have some talented guitar chops, and they’re from that gloomy, grimy cesspool of depressing, misanthropic, sludgy music called Chicago. And they don’t have a drummer, thank Gods. This tape from Land of Decay holds four heavy, gloomy doomy dirges that are actual songs. Since I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool metalhead I’m not totally comfortable describing every song on this cassette, so I’ll just say there’s a lot of great guitar interplay, doom tempos, ommm chanting, deranged screaming, and it’s fairly melodic, in a way that’s kind of reminiscent of the doomier side of NWOBHM like Pagan Altar. All in all, “II” is lovingly crafted meditational metal with thoughtful chops and songwriting and while I hate to call things epic, every song on this tape consistently turns up the awesome meter, from the chug-chug-chanting of “Cairn of Old Eyes” up until the fantastic closer “Carrion Eater”.
The Collection of the Late Howell Bend- Beasts For While (Owness)
The Collection is the musical component of Irene Moon’s Auk Theatre, which these days seems to be becoming its own musical entity with this debut full length. A coven of weird witchy women drinking wine and frying in the hot Florida sun, then going inside to a dark, damp basement to tinker on keyboards and chant strange little ditties. A strange & dark record that takes a few listens to wrap your head around. Plus some great Matt Minter art on the cover.
Rory Hinchey/The Collection of the Late Howell Bend- Shape Is Nature/Long Fields (Owness)
A collaborative split LP from Moon & Hinchey, and it’s a nicely cohesive record of modern instrumental music. Hinchey’s side revolves around his sparse organ sound, with violin accompaniment from Alison Corbett. COTLHB’s half is focused on Moon’s piano with Hinchey & Corbett filling in the sparse melodies. Reminds me a lot of mellower moment of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s oeuvre, as fragile little melodies unfold and repeat creating something beautiful and new.
Wreathes- The Reigns/Full Turn (Bathetic)
Monastic proto-zeuhl chamber-RIO strangeness from members of Kinit Her. If you’re acquainted with KH’s brand of creepy undefinable music, this new 7″ will fit neatly into your record collection in between Art Zoyd and Comus.
Sujo- Quatada (Inam)
A little CDr of big heavy drones. Some good swelling dark dreamscapes with occasional percussion keeping the drones from floating away. If you’re in the market for some new heavy psychedelic drone noise, try to track down one of these little fellers before they’re all gone.