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Distortion and drone - 60%

gasmask_colostomy, December 2nd, 2019

A split between two bands featuring the same one-man line-up (don’t let a plethora of pseudonyms confuse you), Canon pairs up a long song each from Black Tribe and Alpha Drone, showing that the projects are sometimes compatible, even if the cover artwork could often use a bit more thought. In essence, both compositions here are ambient noise pieces, neither having any conventional structure or a full band set-up; in slightly different fashions, both also test the limits of how far distortion and drone can be used while remaining atmospheric.

I personally find ‘Winter/Benediction’ the choicer cut, gathering force with noises of bells and creepy piano pinging about behind the heavily distorted static of guitar, before the latter part features vocals that recite a curse (not a benediction, get it?) alongside a prolonged cello-like drone. The synth work and that low drone produce quite a rich atmosphere, almost like I’m listening to the wreckage of a classical piece, while the lack of percussion doesn’t stop the composition forming its own rhythm, due to the pulses of noises and regularity of the backing bells. ‘Swords Forward as Falcons Soar’ may have a very good title, but it doesn’t help the low-key 13 minutes to enrapture me, marrying extremely fuzzy, plonky guitars to annoying vocals that drone just out of reach after an introduction that could be a field recording of a subway station added to a field recording of a metal factory. Mildly atmospheric and curious, but not Alpha Drone’s best.

If the musical quality has you in doubt about Canon, knowing that both songs were released independently as singles will confirm that this is mostly for promotional purposes – a slightly peculiar idea that conflates the genre of ambient noise with notions of popularity and coverage. However, I suppose musical projects like this should always carry the suggestion of peculiar thinking, otherwise they would hardly produce anything interesting to listen to.