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Aluk Todolo

Descension

(Riot Season; US: 20 Nov 2007; UK: 26 Nov 2007)

France’s Aluk Todolo earned significant praise on the back of their debut seven-inch, so much so that they had no problem finding international distribution for their first full-length. Like the seven-inch, Descension is a thorough exploration of the crossroads between scratchy, arcane Krautrock and black metal noise. The opening “Obedience” starts with a dense but distant industrial atmosphere and drums that slowly pick up steam. Then something that sounds like a train runs the atmosphere over and continues to run it over for the remaining six minutes of the track, during which the layers of screaming whistles and the rackety drums remain basically unchanged. The following “Burial Ground” is a lot easier on the ears. There, a slacker drum pattern and bass progression solemnly support drifting fogs of whispering devils and a brutally tortured guitar that phases in and out of time for the entirety of its ten minutes. Granted, it sounds like they’ve got some good ideas for a minute or two, but they pad them out to ridiculous lengths and don’t end up really going anywhere with them. They need to learn the lessons of succinctness and/or progression, but it is their debut album, so time is on their side.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.


Tagged as: aluk todolo
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