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Crushing and Experimental... - 95%

NonEsDignus, April 24th, 2007

This album does exactly what drone is supposed to do – drones, heavy and slow, throughout the entire album. So first off, if you don’t like drone, you certainly won’t like this album.

This album is rich with atmosphere, and is really great for sitting in your room with the lights off, just laying there absorbing it. The atmosphere from song to song changes, which is very nice since even the most seasoned drone fans like a little change now and then. For the most part, I would not consider this your standard drone album. You can definitely hear the different influences that Boris provides compared to the normal Sunn O))) sound. While one song may be dark and consuming, the next song may be very light and dreamy. It is a nice alternation.

There are a few parts that turn me off on this album though, such as the drumming in the first track, “Etna.” This song is what I’d consider the most standard drone track on the album, yet in the middle of the rich, slow atmosphere they throw this little ‘drum solo’ thing it that completely disrupts the mood.

The difference between each song on this album is, again, the best part. “Etna” is a traditional drone track. “N.L.T.” is a grindingly slow track that leans more towards ambient than anything. “The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)” is almost an indie track, with soft vocals and a piano. Don’t worry though, it is still plenty slow and is executed very well. “Akuma No Kuma” is a really trippy track full of electronic sounding distorted vocals and lots of cool keyboard effects. “Fried Eagle Mind” is another trippy one, but in a different way. It is very soft with unusual sounds in the background and whispers. “Blood Swamp” is a harsher track, probably the most abrasive on the album. It is the longest on the album, and is very dark sounding throughout. I’d say it’s the most atmospheric on the entire album.

So, for fans of drone that don’t mind some strange, unorthodox things, I would definitely recommend this album. Also, if you are into doom metal and would like a gateway into drone, this album would probably provide you with an easy transfer over. Overall, an excellent album.