Stephen O’Malley has developed into a rewarding, continually evolving by demonstrating that there are in fact many, many ways to build slate-toned, inch-per-hour monolithic drones. He’s expanded doom metal’s vocabulary in SunnO))) and Khanate, infused post-rock with an appetite for destruction in Aethenor, and administered gut-probing massage therapy with various installation pieces. In KTL, laptop nut Peter Rehberg (best known for his Pita and Fenn O’Berg projects) helps O’Malley approximate the unheimlich clangor of the hull of an alien spacecraft. Four-part buzzfest “Forest Floor”, a glacially paced blend of black metal and power electronics, accounts for the album’s meat. The duo is at its most convincing, though, during 25-minute opener “Estranged”. Here O’Malley lays stark, bent electric guitar notes over a bed of ominous whooshes and whirrs; it’s a bit like hearing Loren Connors perform an Angelo Badalamenti score. Slow and deadly wins this race.
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// Notes from the Road
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