Deathstench / Trepaneringsritualen – Split picture LP Malignant Records 2013
In the dying days of 2013 we have been blessed (cursed?) with a late coming highlight of the year, being released by the ever commendable Malignant Records. Pressed as a beautiful picture disc vinyl, this split pairs two of the current blackened and ritual infused, death ambient / industrial projects on Malignant Records / Black Plagve, namely: Deathstench and Trepaneringsritualen.
Starting with Deathstench, they present two tracks on their side. The caustic atmospheric noise of the first offering ‘Damnum Minatum’ comes blasting from the speakers, containing a mine shaft depth styled echoed production, as screeched and distortion treated vocals shred the eardrums, along with layers of harsh industrial textures. Buried somewhere within the overblown production are cymbal crashes, blackened tremolo riffed guitars and moody synth lines, which provide a depressive and semi composed edge to the industrial noise chaos. For their second track ‘Temples of Dust’ this features guest vocals of Alan Dubin, most notably recognised as the vocals of the excellent but defunct doom drone band Khanate. Displaying a greater degree of restraint by commencing with ringing ritual bowl hits and various other cavernous echoed textures, when Alan’s vocals arrive they are agonised and delivered in his trademark screeched psychotic style, made all the more incisive by his proper enunciation of the lyrics. Over its 9 minute span ‘Temples of Dust’ would broadly slot under a death industrial / atmospheric noise tag thanks to the overblown wind-tunnel style of the production, which also includes a range of metallic thuds, clangs and general metallic cacophony.
Flipping the picture disc over a 17 minute monster of a track is presented by Trepaneringsritualen and by featuring clearly defined segments this is akin to a number of tracks within larger framework. For the first 7 minutes or so this is ritual ambient at its most gloomy, with catatonic tribal percussive thuds which cut through the inky muffled blackness of the production, along with distant echo treated slow chanted invocations which are almost Tibetan throat singing in style. Yet at around the 7 minute mark, things really step into their own, with the rise of slow drawling demonic horns and mid paced percussive thumps. With a gradual upward trajectory further tribal / ritual percussion, militant rolling snare drums and grinding synths textures flesh out the rhythmic framework as a solid platform for the trademark garbled / croaked vocals, lastly complimented by a lachrymose synth line. Within this singular track this displays all the elements of what makes Trepaneringsritualen so great and contains their now trademark dank, oozing, ritual infused, death ambience / industrial sound.
From music to presentation, this is an absolutely excellent pairing of acts which has hit all the right sonic and visual markers. With a limitation of a mere 250 copies and pressed on heavy vinyl with postcard, surely this won’t be available for too long.