The only way out is through…
Released internationally by Profound Lore Records on 23 February 2018 and reviewed by Jason Guest
Dark, brooding, richly textured, and as heavy as the night, Marrow Hymns, Insect Ark‘s first release written and recorded as a duo, is psychedelic doom par excellence. What Dana Schechter on bass, lap steel and synths, and Ashley Spungin on drums and synths create is denser, deeper, and more enigmatic than most bands can conjure up in their entire career. Hyperbole? After the dark spell of 49-second opener ‘Thelema’is cast, ‘Arp 9’ opens up the album’s depths. The disorienting slide work of the lap steel sits atop the drums, each beat punctuating the delicate shade that shimmers and shines in its barren night air. Insect Ark weave webs that many cannot nor desire to escape.
Simultaneously intimate and distant, ‘In The Nest’ takes us deeper into the duo’s intensely fragile and cinematic soundscapes and ‘Skin Walker’ lays it on heavy with power chords, weeping and tearing slide work, and off beat beats that trip up and slip up and almost collapse before once more finding the floor and slaving its way into the haunting weight of ‘Slow Ray’. I could go on and describe the gentle swirl of the beautiful ‘Sea Harps’, the chiming drone of ‘Tarnish’, the unsettlingly gentle pandemonium that is ‘Windless’ and the black bulk of the synth-weighted ‘Daath’, but words are far from enough to describe the experience.
Described as “a voice when words fail to articulate emotions or experiences, a visceral form of communication through sonic submersion”, Insect Ark’s music is cathartic, a letting go, yet there’s a strength and a determination that underpins its concentrated mass. In all its fragility, Marrow Hymns embodies a strength and a resilience that, in the face of the disorder, the decay, and the brutal indifference of existence, is insurmountable. Somewhere in the nothing is hope. With Marrow Hymns, Insect Ark point the way through the existential struggle that is this very thing we call now. The only way out is through.
- Arp 9
- In The Nest
- Skin Walker
- Slow Rayt
- Sea Harps