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TA' WIL
Limited Edition
Handstitched / branded leather case
TA'WIL
$33
OPTION
This duo blends ambient drones and melodies with tribal percussion, with several tracks landing somewhere between O Yuki Conjugate and Voice of Eye. And, in a relatively rare occurrence for this genre, all six pieces have a distinctive flavor. The first piece is pastoral, with flute and strummed guitar accompanied by sparse muted percussion and sound effects; it nearly sounds medieval. The best material is even more compelling. "Dark Reaction" starts off with an ominous drone; various electronics and percussion build on it, and I couldn't help but give the volume control a healthy twist upward. Other material has a colder feel, with disembodied voice floating above a thick wall of synthesizers. The last two tracks have an orchestral feel that I didn't like at first; they reminded me a bit of some adventurous but pretentious European progressive rock. A couple more listens and that association disappeared, leaving me feeling the way I do now: that this is a good, solid album, well worth owning.
-Scott Lewis

DEAD ANGEL: ISSUE 26 (6/97)
Apparently they are naturalists, judging from the look of the long liner notes in the disc booklet, although since the words are brown on brown and of a microscopic typeface, i'll never really know for sure. Regardless of their politics, their sound is pretty interesting... slow, loping tribal drum rhythms and spooky, disembodied synth leavened with trancelike guitar passages (sometimes repetitive figures, sometimes just hum, other times mutant sounds buried in the background), and only sporadic vox. They're big on the slow-motion drone and the shortest song is nearly seven minutes... these are good things....The first track, "Blood and Soil," opens with cycling guitar hum, running water, chirping birds, voices reading from some exotic text, and eventually coalesces into a trancelike dirge guitar supplanted by thudding, distorted drums and an eerie vocal chorus. As the song builds, thick keyboard drones add another layer to the growing wall of sound. Swirling clouds of guitar hum also infiltrate "Ismaeli," along with distorted drums more cryptic chanting vocals and a harsh wall of noise that dies away midway through the song, leaving behind just a tinkering drum track and various odd, watery sounds. Toward the end, the singer intones a passage adapted from the prose of Omar Khayyam; i have no idea who he is, but it sounds awfully exotic....The best track on the disc is probably the fifth one, also the longest at 12:24 -- "Song for the Fifth World." A forbidding beat, dark droning synths, and counterpoint polyrhythms set the engine in motion, often sounding like a mildly heavier version of Voice of Eye. The hypnotic beat is augmented by regular hissing much like blasts from a furnace, or perhaps an approaching dust storm. The sound gradually builds in intensity, growing louder and more complicated, until it finally dissolves in a spiral of hissing and droning. Hard to follow, but the closing "Spiritual Warfare" manages to pull it off with gradiose orchestral bombast (not to mention the occasional burst of noisy fury). The overall feel is somewhere between a less-crazed Crash Worship and a more orchestrated answer to Voice of Eye... not a bad combination. The name, incidentally, stands for Children of the Apocalypse, and apocalyptic is as good a label as any for their dense, brooding sound.

CAUTION! On-line Magazine
Monumental dark classical stuff from the same label as Crash Worship. Where Endura evoke caves and dungeons, COTA hail from wide open spaces - more manic and howling, but still lit by the moon. There are 6 pieces here, the space on the CD allowing each to really get going and raise an atmosphere. The percussion is biting and syncopated and the accompanying drones are exquisitely beautiful and rich. This is one I've gone back to again and again. There's a limited version of this that comes in an impressive but definitely not vegan-friendly stitchedcow-hide pouch. (From a found cow corpse, rather than a slaughtered one, they stress).
- JE

BRUTARIAN
Bird calls. Mysterious and inviting. Water rushing over rocks above. The drip drop drip of rainfall on a canopy of thick oversized leaves and lush fauna. Or perhaps it is a forest of tall redwoods. But here you are standing deathly still. Listening. Listening. And then it starts. Hollow plunk and mournful ping of primitive accoustical instruments establish subdued but insistent rhythms while the synthesized drone of our primitive ancestors calls to us. At other times it is the guitar singing songs of love and loss to us in a few simple chords. In this world of perpetual twilight. Listen. Here is wonder. Here is that which is of us yet beyond us. Sublime. Supernal. Supreme. Music falling, dying and rising again. The enchantment of firewater drunk to the dregs as dusk begs the kind indulgence of day.
-ds

Side-Line
C.O.T.A. is the abbreviation of CHILDREN OF THE APOCALYPSE. It's an American duo composing outstanding ritual/tribal stuff! The 6 tracks from their beginning cd Ta'Wil is a 100% masterpiece. This project created an extreme dark mood with mystical atmospheres. It's a deep artistic work, which on their opening track "Blood and soil" reminds me to GREATER THAN ONE (from the All the masters licked me lp-period) meets DEATH IN JUNE. On the second track "Dark reaction", C.O.T.A. goes on with a more than 11 minutes during piece, containing devastating trancy effects in conjunction with tribal rhythms. Tracks like "Ismaeli" and "Spiritual warfare" show you the same dark structures, this time accompanied by female vocals. This last piece from more than 10 minutes is a real masterpiece, but I'll still mention the more electronic minded "Song for the fifth world" as other highlight. Ta'Wil is an absolute essential release if you're fond of dark soundscapes!
-(DP:8/9)DP.

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