When things get experimental, this crew gets worried. The RMR deckhands already had their fair share of ‘great bands’ that only managed to waste our time with ill-fated projects. Those that got hailed by the eternal yaysayers to nirvana and back, defended by a small gang of loudmouth fans.
Some picture themselves as the archetype of the avant-garde, those that dare face the brave new world that will emerge after all those pandemics and miscellaneous tribulations changed everything. So much so, that we now must embrace the useless and the atrocious. Because someone said so.1)
Yet here, word got out about some tasty ambient drone from the US that rides on a wave of melancholy. Spattered with specks of Doom Sludge, a reflective journey of sorts. And that piqued our interest, as we sometimes like to get out of Extreme Metal mode into other things that no classical nerd or metalhead will ever venture into. But it also created some apprehension, as this new piece could very well be yet another one of those aimless projects whose compass points to nowhere.
And indeed, The Sun and The Mirror with their new piece Dissolution To Salt and Bone are as experimental as you can possibly imagine. Yet another totally unknown band that will hit our airwaves. In truth, however, we’re glad that we let ‘er roar anyway. Because this record ain’t no waste of time, far from it.
Instead, you’ll get that visceral connection that – snap bang – captures you with those frugal soundscapes that grouchily escape out of yonder depressive mists. And next thing you know, you just listened to an almost shamanesque and somewhat hypnotic jambalaya of – non-melody for all of the almost 44 minutes the record is willing to provide.
I am usually no fan of the overly ethereal or esoteric, yet Dissolution clearly had me glued to my earphones. And it is not only the disembodied groans of Sarah Townley‘s cello. It’s the totality of sounds and atmospheres that got the better of me.
At first, you’ll notice that impressive flow. Everything is in motion whilst it kind of stands still. A record of only four tracks, out of which two sit at an epic 17+ minutes of airtime. That takes that kind of chutzpah that we appreciate, a self-assured approach to your music. One that is confident to succeed, and this in an open-ended style direction that will – for sure – not attract tons of fans or fill stadiums.
Yet, once DTSAB has you in its icy grip, it won’t let you go. It’s a fascinating piece, one that doesn’t care about genres and boxes. Nor does it care a lot about melody and conventions. Instead, it will help you along on a journey. As the lore goes, both Sarah and Reggie Townley were on a road trip to scatter the ashes of a family member. Thus, the soundscape describes this experience.
But it’s not only shoegazing Post Metal that thrives on bursts of weird electronica, ambients, and disembodied cello sounds. It’s also Reggie Townley‘s desperate wails that add to that oppressive, doomy atmosphere. And once the drone ceases and the grating electric guitar raises its noisy head with those thunderous drums to go with it, the crew here really paid attention. A sudden avalanche of doom sludge that tries to drown you in its desperation. But it somehow slaves on towards the dark shores it must reach.
True, these interludes are few and far between – way too scarce to really warm our cold metal hearts. Yet, Dissolution to Salt and Bone was never meant to be ‘metal’. It tells a story. And The Sun and The Mirror tell it their way. Without having to wear that straightjacket of rules that somehow became the law for many genres out there.
Ultimately, the RMR deck crew was thrilled to have found an experimental record that is worth its salt. Not just a wild jumble of abject noize, but a thoughtful selection of sentiment set in sound. A Post Metal piece of ambient drone and muddy sludge that rides forward on a wave of doomy melancholy. To a destination best described in the band’s own words – and I quote – “Life into waves, in the grey outgoing tide. We will dissolve, body of salt and ash and bone.”
DTSAB embodies its theme perfectly. And it managed to keep this crew’s short attention span alive for the duration, and then some. That’s proof of the quality of that particular pudding. One that we enjoyed eating, too.
|1.||And yes, I am looking straight at you, folks of Non Serviam and your minions.|