Spilling forth a droning electronic atmosphere, Kentucky resident (for this is the project of one man, Crow) Wheels Within Wheels twist and push the doom of “Your Body, Your Blood” deep into the subconscious. Here one twenty minute track is contributed to this split with Merkaba (another Kentucky based band) which is now available for pre-order from Flenser Records on a very lovingly crafted cassette. It’s somewhat of a family affair, the layout being done by Austin Lunn of Panopticon (and a colleague of Crow from ritualistic doom band Seidr) and the close knit feeling of the Kentucky scene is vastly apparent.
The Wheels Within Wheels side of this split, “Your Body, Your Blood” comes in waves of distinction. Beginning with a fuzzed out and dreamy tone, a melancholic veil is draped over the initial steps of the track and an almost funereal pace sits hidden behind in the drum strikes and cymbal crashes. Shimmering guitar sweeps in giving a touch of sadness and gentle sorrow before it…..stops. Unnerving and deeply resonant electronic buzzing cuts in and the track transforms into a haunting noise driven piece. Crow experiments with textures and layers of creeping gloom and whilst it’s not as downright terrifying as say, Gnaw Their Tongues or T.O.M.B. the absolute inhuman nature of what is heard is enough to fuel nightmares. Tripped out screams rip through the dusk building and building until the burst into the next section. Wheels Within Wheels is a darkly ambient project, multiple influences and sounds stake their claim throughout this one track alone and this final part picks up where the beginning left off. Taking the despondency of the first minutes and adding lo-fi vocals giving an aura of longing and loss, Crow has produced a sound driven narrative with “Your Body, Your Blood.” It’s for no-one to assume what this story could be, but the intensity of the middle section offset by the sweetness of the start and the slowcore fuzz of the end is telling in itself. Extraordinary.
Wanna know more about it? Hit the jump.
Merkaba hold a comparable sublime anguish in their track “Lament.” Twenty minutes of pure, low fidelity scarred black metal. Raw in the truest sense of the world, the production is murky and the vocals are so far down in the mix that it is nigh on impossible to pick anything out. But that’s not to say that there aren’t moments of staggering beauty. Hopelessness steals across the breaks and the touches of quiet hold a blissfully heavy mournful mood before cracking into furious howls and blasts of intense drum. Similar to the Wheels Within Wheels track, “Lament” has distinguishable sections to it and the misanthropic tendency is felt throughout thus binding the subtler moments with the more vicious passages deftly and with vehement passion. Splitting the song almost in two is a noticeable silence which then ushers in a doomy and downtrodden transition. Minimally struck notes echo in the air, gentle movements slowly climbing towards the inevitable end. A complete antithesis to the first portion of the song, these minutes of sweetness offer reflection and respite from pure ferocity. Merkaba have composed a song of opposition and contradiction but “Lament” is no less powerful for these conflicting forces.