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Servile Sect > Eternal Mind > Reviews
Servile Sect - Eternal Mind

Small object contains huge, varied music universe - 65%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, November 4th, 2010

For a short recording, this release packs in many elements drawn from a wide range of very different music genres. Unfortunately there's no indication on the sleeve as to whether the music on offer is five separate tracks or one work of five parts so I'll plump for an easy option of talking about Side 1 (two pieces of music) and Side 2 (three pieces of music). Side 1 starts with a lethargic bass guitar melody against a background of birdson and conversational laughter. Blasts of monster breath and distant black metal vocal screeches intrude into the meandering string melody which is unaffected by the interruptions. This piece hardly changes much and has the air of an introduction to something much greater which comes in the second piece. Washes of jet aircraft woosh and buzz suggest something's readying itself for take-off, spaced-out wobble and bubble floats in the air above. Dreamy guitar plucks out a repeating three-note riff while strange soothing noises with a sharp-ish edge hover and swoop in the ether. This is a very strange world of giddy ambient psychedelic wash-outs which collapses into an almost inaudible blur of black metal guitar and inter-stellar electronic alien wobble-drone communication.

Side 2 opens with twitchy-glitch stuttering electronica, from which a grim black metal rhythm roars and a harsh ragged voice screams as though lost deep within an eternal blizzard. The idea of black metal noise ambience up against a series of pulsing outer-space electronics seems strange but the combination works because neither style of music is competing against the other but plays in parallel with the other, simply emphasising the other style's contrasting tones, rhythms and textures. Up next is a layered chunk of drone, noise and industrial factory atmosphere squeal. A siren plummets and a strumming guitar deep within the din fights to be audible. Last is a thick blanket of silent blackness, cut through by a blues-tinged melody that echoes. An air of finality hangs over the piece as though this is the last time it'll ever be played. All of this is abruptly swept aside by demonic black metal declamation and slashing guitar accompaniment.

Though each piece of music is short and undeveloped, there's a vast range of music territory travelled. Melodies may be very simple, so simple that preschoolers could play them on toy instruments. Repetition or continuous drone or noise is the way the music sustains itself. Over time, the tape will wear out but such deterioration will add another layer of noise or droning hiss to the music and change and enrich its mood.

Imagine that every time you play this recording, the music will evolve and change bit by bit. It's interesting too that juxtaposing two very dissimilar styles of music like black metal and glitch electronics gives rise to a fusion music that while recognisable as its separate parts, is also utterly mysterious and alien. I'm wishing the whole thing could be longer and more developed - the cassette format now seems very cramped and restrictive for this work. Just as you feel yourself being drawn into the music, the whole thing clicks off.