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Soundtrack to the realms beyond - 95%

Amatol, March 19th, 2010

The phenotype that is LDRTFS is certainly a force to be reckoned with! For this split album, 'Those That Dwell Beyond', our resident Spaniard joins forces with Gate To Void and Aeon Nought, both themselves relatively unknown and obscure bands. This union of acts delivers what can surely be explained as an audible glimpse into the realms beyond or perhaps the inward paths into one’s own psyche.

As I purchased this split primarily for the LDRTFS contribution the focus of this review will be on his track, titled simply “I Invoke...”, I will however touch briefly on the contributions from the other two artists at the end. “I Invoke...” is what to expect from all LDRTFS tracks, that is to expect the unexpected and have a clear path to the nearest exit in case you feel the walls closing in on you! The song begins with a LDRTFS signature low end rumble, eerie high pitched effects wash over the mix adding superb tension to the opening moments. What sounds like faint violin plays in the background, adding very sombre tones and coupled with the random appearance and disappearance of voices chanting softly occurring throughout the track builds to create a very dark atmosphere. Eventually the listener’s ears are bombarded with drums, sounding like Satan warming down for a Khanate gig, and followed closely by the best bottom end death growls (or howls??) ever put to tape. This is certainly the climax of “I Invoke...” with dark ambiance now completely destroyed, and replaced by a barrage of bass fuzz, the drum kit from hell and of course the growls to suit, but just as quickly as chaos poured from the speakers the torrent ends and the listener is thrown back as minimalism returns. Random sounds, drums and bizarre vocals pan across the mix, the vocals gain in intensity and occurrence becoming a like a mantra, the background noises also gain in volume/intensity, the speakers spill out this blackened spell until again the track drops and the eerie low end rumble reassumes. The faint chants in the background again are also present, as “I Invoke...” slowly comes to its demise in somewhat of a roundabout fashion perhaps the only true lyrics a LDRTFS track has ever had are conveyed to the listener, detailing simply what it is that is being invoked!!!

Gate To Void adds three songs to the split album, comprising mostly of minimal synth ambiance, with one track being a Xasthur cover and the longest of the three featuring none other the LDRTFS. However of the three songs the plain GTV track “Lifeless... (A Journey Towards The inner Death)”, would be my favourite, similar to synth work by the likes of Lustmord and even Wrest from Leviathan and Lurker of Chalice. “Dreams Of Cosmic Failure” featuring LDRFTS features characteristics of each artist and also proves an interesting spacious listen, played at extreme volumes the bass really puts pressure on the body of the listener, quite awesome really!

Finally we arrive at Aeon Nought, rather difficult to describe but along the same minimalistic ambient type vein, like a bastard child of Burial Hex and House Of Low Culture where nothing truly eventful really occurs. Comprising of a much higher pitched type synth-drone ambiance with less focus on the bottom end, the variation to the previous two artists is welcomed. The first of the two Aeon Nought tracks is my preferable one entitled “...Minds Fade Away”, the track offers most variation, with distant screams as well as spoken words (assembly lyrics as there are lyrics in the fold out cd packaging), bouts of percussion and crashing of cymbals and sparsely recognisable guitar.

‘Those Who Dwell Beyond’ is a worthy piece of dark ambient minimalism, featuring three very twisted artists who manage to create trance like sound scapes that penetrate the unknown and delve the listener into sheer darkness, worth trying to get your hands on if you can find one. Like Drone Razors Through Flesh Sphere, Gate To Void and Aeon Nought should team up more often in the future if this split is the result of what is possible. Thanks for your time.

Amatol (Khan Misanthrope in Chief)