I’m dreaming of a black Christmas
Self released on Bandcamp on 25 December 2017 and reviewed by Gary ‘purple lightsaber’ Cordwell
‘Abeloth’, the cheery 4th EP from Slovenian experimental duo Snogg, dropped on Christmas Day. And what, we ask, could be more festive than a totally improvised black metal EP based, apparently, on a Star Wars legend and mixed with the dark poetry of obscure Austrian poet Georg Trakl? Snogg, we can assume, were not decking the halls with boughs of holly.
So what does improvised black/folk/poetry/Star Wars metal sound like? Pretty much as you’d expect – loud, messy, challenging and, urm, unique. It all begins fairly calmly…ambient strings, courtesy of a classical violinist who plays a key role in this piece, and nature field recordings. But fear not, intensity and weirdness rapidly make their presence felt. The guitars build up and distort to a background roar. The vocals get angrier, shoutier, the poetry appears – electronically treated, sounding suspiciously like Kylo Renn – speaking in tongues (well, languages – English, German and Slovenian to be precise). Somewhere along the way it has become ferocious, building to a chaotic finale, it’s pacing is stunning.
The sound having been established, it pushes onwards. Monastic chanting joins the melee, it’s the Omen theme tune…with guitars. Lots of guitars – distorted, buzzing, take your feet out from under you guitars. It’s all very clearly improvised, it’s somewhat formless, a jostling wall of sound. There is talk of Jedi’s and Sith’s and insanity and a spiralling tornado of feral chaos – screams, wails, death metal riffs and scraping violin add to the cacophony.
Eventually it all ends and you’re not quite sure what it is that you’ve just listened to. Plus, if you hear it live it will sound significantly different – being improvised, each performance of it will be new- this EP is but one variant. Free metal/ death folk/ rustic metal? Fuck knows. It’s good, it’s interesting, but it’s also music made by and for people who just don’t get out enough. Cautiously recommended.
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- Beloved Queen Of The Stars
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