Thursday, June 24, 2010

Aluk Todolo - "Finsternis" LP

This is a limited (500 copies) vinyl re-release of a 2009 CD that was also limited, so grab a copy soon if this kind of antisocial noise is up your alley. Finsternis hail from France, and inhabit a conceptual gray area between doom, drone, noise, and black metal that elevates them far and above what the terms "metal" or "noise" may imply. The opener here (and actually the whole of Side A) introduces the group with a plodding, simplistic, even monotonous drum rhythm that gives the track a creepy, automated "zombie" feel. A dubby, almost Krautrock bassline, and guitar feedback gradually build on the crawling aspects, and are unmistakably bleak and trance-inducing.

The first part of Side B, "Totalite", is a rumbling mass of single-minded drums, lo-fi rumbling noise, and distant guitar feedback. Effective, and wholly evocative of a ritual performance. No surprise, then, that Aluk Todolo, which means "the way of ancestors", refers to an ancient religion in Indonesia, reflecting the group's interest in matters spiritual and hidden. "Troisieme Contact" is a clot of stately drumming and monotone feedback. Think early SWANS meets early Skullflower and you'd not be too far off the mark. The finale, "Quatrieme Contact", is basically part of the same track, and continues the deep, psychedelic pummel and drone of it's predecessor. Strong, bold, and unclassifiable darkness abounds here, and it's a release that begs for multiple listenings to fully grasp the scope and depth of the abyss. (Public Guilt)

Aluk Todolo site

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