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A deeply immersive and frightening experience - 93%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, January 7th, 2013

No doubt about it, the man behind Like Drone Razors Through Flesh Sphere (LDRTFS) does slow, hard and deep slower, harder and deeper than any other droning doom metal act I had the fortune (or maybe misfortune) of knowing. This recording is a single track lasting nearly 70 minutes and quite simply is a wonderful beast to flood your hearing with. If listeners are willing to try, they should hear this album late at night with all lights off and the door shut and bolted to prevent interruptions ... and any chance of escaping from the soundscapes contained within "D.R.O.N.E.R.E.X.I.A.".

The track is dominated in its first half by three competing layers of sound, a deep bass rumble and a higher-pitched guitar groan growing steadily together in volume and intensity, interrupted at more or less regular intervals by a soft cymbal clash. Some listeners may hear another layer of almost squeaky guitar drone straining until it breaks into a prolonged squeal. Cymbals may also be spinning constantly far back in the mix. There are also soft ambient effects that impart a feeling of terror coming and going: listeners will feel them as much as hear them in the form of a cold black cloud shadowing the music. The rhythmic looping is very busy and the layering of the music concentrates on the build-up towards a climax. An interesting moment occurs about the 14th to 16th minute where a definite guitar riff begins to repeat over and over and a monstrous breathy voice from the deep netherworlds beneath our feet sighs heavily.

As it progresses the track manages to maintain both an atmosphere of apparent if sinister calm and restraint and an undercurrent of increasing chaos and derangement in the roiling guitar clouds. I have never heard anything else quite like this music. The madness really increases about 24th minute, the inhuman voice is nearly breathing down our necks and chanting just audible spells, the guitars are going berserk in a compulsively repetitive way and cymbals are crashing almost chaotically. After the 30th minute, listeners are likely to be feeling very ragged and drained, the maddening guitar riffing continues to shred nerves and the cavernous background wash effects and demonic voice surge back and forth. An intense needle drone sounds off from time to time. A final crash comes at the 35th minute, the guitars start to flat-line and two minutes later fall comatose.

For much of the rest of the track, listeners are surrounded by a deep black void in which all that can be heard is a barely audible bass shudder or moan. A slight droning bass may be sighing deep in the thick medium that envelops us but we do not know if that is actually occurring in the music, is an incidental sound beyond our immediate environment or is something our own brain cells are making up either involuntarily or in response to what we've been hearing.

Some time before the end, there is a metallic industrial factory ambient rhythm that reverberates through our heads as though our brains are on an assembly line being chopped up before a send-off to the mincer. Sonorous voices from the bowels of the Earth intone instructions into what replaces brains in our noggins and regardless of their language, somehow we know we have no choice but to obey.

"D.R.O.N.E.R.E.X.I.A." is not simply a soundworld in itself, it is an entire experience, deeply immersive, intense and alternately frightening and reassuring. The style is at once soothing and steady yet brimming with inner chaos that threatens any moment to escape and overwhelm listeners. If there is a criticism to be made against the track, it is that the sound dynamics should vary more and some of the guitar texture layers should be sharper and more keen.

If you consider yourself adventurous and open-minded, unafraid of taking risks, then you should try listening to this album at the witching hour.