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Excellent droney/funeral-y split - 90%

caspian, May 25th, 2008

It’s kind of odd that aren’t really a lot of funeral doom splits; for a genre with a very underground aesthetic and ethos I don’t really see a lot of them around; you’d think that this genre would have heaps of them.

But they don’t, and based off this beast of an album it’s a real shame that there aren’t more of these splits around. This is an impeccable slab of funeral doom (with a hint of sludge and drone) that no fan of this genre can afford to miss out on.

Torture Wheel come along first, and I must say I’m really loving these few tracks. It kind of brings to mind a more primitive Esoteric, lots of screaming (that totally brings to mind the roar from an Imp from the original Doom game), slow and steadily unfolding riffs and rather slow and stately leads and keyboards sections. Sometimes it gets quite lush, almost sounding like a funeral doom Nadja in places; it’s a fantastic sound. Combined with the way the songs are written –slow as hell, sure, but with plenty of variation- and you’ve got a genuinely exciting, really quality slab of funeral doom metal here. The first song’s probably the best- it’s fairly short, for one, and the floating ghoulish keys really fit the crunching guitars and reverbed-to-hell growls- but overall the all the songs are brilliant; to be honest I find it hard to normally take funeral doom songs that exceed ten minutes but these kept me listening. Fantastic stuff.

Moss are fairly different in their approach- applying a very bass heavy, very misanthropic sort of approach; it reminds a lot of Sabbath’s slower tunes but I guess better comparisons would be Sleep’s Dopesmoker slowed way, way down, or Electric Wizard having even worse acid trips then usual, and a more traditionally doomy Sunn O))) would also be quite an apt comparison. “Alderbaran” probably isn’t the best tune ever, consisting mostly of incredibly bassy tape distortion and various effects shimmering and clattering away in the background. Beneathbelow (also the name of a rather awesome Isis tune), however, is closer to the traditional Moss sound and it’s a real beast of a song, consisting of some really massive riffs repeated incredibly slowing while the rest of the band slowly becomes louder and louder. It’s incredibly primitive- the production is really lo fi, for one- and overall it’s an immensely appealing vibe, suggesting Neanderthals conducting a black mass, or something like that. Very primitive and evil!

Overall this is a really nice split; not only do the bands sound good on their own but the overall package is highly appealing. Torture Wheel’s more defined, almost graceful sort of funeral doom is offset nicely by the utter primitivism that is Moss’s stone age molten lava riffs and shrieked vocals. I’ve never really seen the point of having splits where both bands sound exactly the same, and luckily this release doesn’t have that problem. Yes, this is some seriously high quality doom stuff, and whether you’re into your sludge or epic sort of funeral doom you will find much to enjoy here.