• Image of HELL - II CS

From Eternal Warfare, US

"Record number two from this black/doom/sludge outfit from Salem, Oregon, the second in a proposed trilogy, this one taking the already grim and abject sound of the first installment even further, dragging them even deeper into the infernal pits, the sound hellish and hateful and harrowing, the opening track beginning life as a bleak slab of churning slow motion dirgery, a filthy, crusty tarpit creep, the sound raw and blown out, the guitars tuned WAY down, the vocals a demonic hellish croak, the crushing black doom eventually swallowed up by a cloud of psychedelic guitar swirl, a sort of black metal buzz, but blurred into stasis, before the whole thing collapses into a black hole of crumbling low end and Merzbowic black noise, before briefly returning to the initial doomic plod, before spacing out completely into a hazy stretch of almost Earth like twang, although here it's wreathed in heaving black clouds of buzz, the sound constantly shifting over the course of the rest of the song, from shimmery drift, to wild tangled guitar freakout, to stumbling churn, to blurred drone. And that's just the first track. Although it does lay the groundwork for the rest of the record, the guitars seeming to grow even more blown out, the vocals more and more anguished, the downtuned riffs, even more downtuned, as if the whole thing was melting right there on your turntable. "Metnal" mixes in some actual black metal blasts, as well as some swirling ethereal ambience, "Trucid" too, unfurls some black buzz, strangely twisted and tangled, and in-the-red, so it almost sounds like the tape is malfunctioning, all woozy and warped, before slipping into the prettiest stretch on the album, a lilting clean guitar drift, that leads directly into "Umbilicus", which at nearly 8 minutes is the shortest of the bunch, but which also manages to be the heaviest, the sound so dense and blown out, it pushes the black buzz into the realms of Tim Hecker, the crumbling buzz becoming a wall of roiling texture, the track lurching into a weird convoluted noise rock groove, stonery and sludgey, eventually shedding the sludge, leaving just some muted drumming, and a brittle layer of guitar buzz, that drifts into the weirdly melodic doom-sludge coda. Epic and crushing, brutal and beautiful..."