Saturday, August 29, 2015

Drowning In Wood-s/t, cassette/dl; Scissor Tail Editions, 2015

While Disaster Amnesiac is by no means an expert on Black Metal, I have been a fan of the genre for several years now. Perhaps its most appealing aspect for this listener is willfully corroded aesthetic that many of the bands utilize. By this, I mean the way in which they sublimate so many of the often useless trappings of music, such as playing notes for notes' sake, "catchy" hooks, and overuse of orchestration, to a more over arching feel. Black Metal is, to me, all about mood. One must be in the correct mental space in order to vibe with these moods, granted, but when one's damn compelling.
What this all has to do with Drowning In Wood is the simple fact that as Disaster Amnesiac listens to this Italian duo's eponymous release, those same types of moods arise within my mind. Sergio Albano and Vincenzo De Luce conjure up these darkened soundscapes utilizing what sound like very extended techniques with their guitars. I thought that there were laptops involved upon my initial listening! On tunes like Above the Field and My Roots Are Covered In Blood, and the snarling Industrial of Crossroad, Drowning in Wood have that same plaintive, slowly unfolding inner drama that features in the best Black Metal. These tunes are not necessarily easy to listen to, but, damn, what darkened moods! I have often felt, while listening, as if I had been summoned to some hidden cave and given a private concert from the duo, one lit by slowly burning fires and candles. Glimmers of hope do arrive in Limbo and Never the Same, but for the most part the release stays within the blackened parameters of Kvlt aesthetics. By the time the closing tune Somewhere Not Here finishes up its twisted hocket, the listener will surely feel the sublime, cold hand of ravishing grimness massaging the caves of their minds.
Disaster Amnesiac has no idea as to whether or not Drowning In Wood are fans or practitioners of Black Metal, but I damn sure hear some similar traits.  Both revel within the chilly airs of isolation and despair, set to music. This stuff ain't for the timid or easily offended, but if you're in the mood for that type of musical disaffection, their skeletal hands, wrapped around icy strings, lift a beckoning finger.

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