TROU – Grjòthaugr CDr No Part Of It 2020
Evidently this French project TROU are more recognised for their harsh noise exploits, yet Grjòthaugr is anything but harsh, or even close to being noise for that matter. Rather this album focuses on heavy industrial looped based material which sprawls out at extended length. This is evidenced by the fact that the album contains only three tracks, with the shortest being 15 minutes and the longest at 34 minutes.
From the opening second of No Above, No Within, No Below the listener is thrust into the middle of a cyclic blast furnace toned industrial noise maelstrom. There is a sense of both stasis and movement, where the mechanized loops and rough lo-fi industrial noise aesthetic implies forward momentum, yet the equally the tone of the loops remains unchanged, which therefore anchors the work in a state of non-movement. This approach then tends plays tricks on the mind where you perceive sound is ever so slightly changing and morphing, but equally wonder if that perception is a fallacy of focused listening. Herbspalast follows and is rooted with a percussive rhythmic loop, roughly echoed drones and muted static, yet soon achieved the same mid-point feel of movement verses inertia. The final of the three tracks Onwards, To Múspellsheimr follows the prevailing approach, but the sound is a mid-point between the first two, containing both looped and rhythmic elements, which are mid-paced and with ample sonic heft.
More than anything the material is best appreciated when shifting your mindset to a space where there is no past and no future, allowing oneself to focus on the ever-present current moment. Artwork wise has the appearance of an obscure and forgotten lo-fi black metal album 1990s, where the chosen artwork by Zdzislaw Beksinski appears to be a visual representation of the Nietzsche quote: “if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you”. As darkly surreal as the cover, this is intriguing and engaging release.
Note: – although a CDr release, this is a pro-printed disc and cover.