Water Torture – Pillbox

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Water Torture
Pillbox
Nerve Altar

The Buffalo powerviolence trio Water Torture recently dropped their debut full length ‘Pillbox’ into the world and if you’ve been following their early adventures, mapped across various EPs and split releases, this record marks the fruition of true promise and then some. ‘Pillbox’ is seventeen tracks long, and its refreshing in its variation – it can loosely be described as grind/powerviolence but barely any two tracks are the truly the same. Numerous tracks and passages of the album see noise elements swathed between low-end sludge grooves and guttural grind, often tacked onto the end of short blasts of despairing energy, almost like white noise or the dying noises of a machine, and occasionally marked as single tracks of pure noise, e.g. ‘Product One’, a cavernous, drenching wall of howling noise. Not too dissimilar from the approach of acts such as Iron Lung, and fans of that sort of stuff are bound to get into this. Indeed this makes for a much more dynamic grind album – not just stuck at one pace, but taking in sludge and dark acoustic elements – the track ‘Creature of Repetition’ is free of noise and grind elements and owes more to classical in its foreboding arrangement. Having cut their teeth on numerous split releases since forming in 2011, ‘Pillbox‘ is the record that should really get people to sit up and take notice of Water Torture. A band willing to take risks and make primal mechanical animals of us all.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Pillbox’ here
Pre-order the vinyl LP here
Stream it below:

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A Story of Rats – Vastness and the Inverse

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A Story of Rats
Vastness and the Inverse
Translinguistic Other

A Story of Rats are a ambient/noise/drone trio based out of Seattle, as the press release goes, masterminded by Garek Druss. Their latest release ‘Vastness and the Inverse‘, the band’s twelfth release (and the first to incorporate a live drummer in Andrew Crawshaw), is a crushing display of how heavy music can be without strictly being metal. Only two tracks long measuring nearly forty minutes in total, it brings forth a mesmerizing blend of ambience, trepidation and transcendance.  ‘Her Teeth are Nil’ journeys the listeners through various phases of minimalism, be it dark chamber percussion, post-rock, drone and doom. ‘Huldrefolk’ isn’t quite as intense, though it does come with an impressive explosion of sound around the four-minute mark, leading with synth all the way with significant cathartic repetition.

Vastness and the Inverse‘ is not for the discerning metal fan – this is an album that requires full concentration and elimination of outside interference to fully appreciate. Not all will be able to claw through its swathes of sound at first digestion, nor be able to reach its deepest depths without the need to rise for air. But its a fully rewarding work, something that fans of bands like Earth and Neurosis should be able to reach for without much difficulty. The band will be touring at a select number of European venues in the near future, and no doubt will this be an experience worth embracing to feel the full force of ASOR’s beauty and power.

Peter Clegg

Vastness and the Inverse‘ is scheduled for release on 28th February, 2013. Please check here for pre-order information

Listen to ‘Her Teeth are Nil’ (excerpt) below:

Bandcamp