Tue 10th January 2017
A Thrill Jockey Records release is all but guaranteed to push boundaries and expectations, as well as your excitement or patience as they see fit. Happily, in amongst it all, this extends to the sonic barriers of the extremeties of metal, and here with Aseethe, the densest borders where doom resides. The Iowan trio discharge riffs as if birthed from the bowels of a cavern, within a sound of pure doom.
On Sever the Head, they channel doom's chest crushing claustrophobia through lethargic, tonne weight tone taken to the boundaries... attainment of a pure heaviness delivered through repetition. More than ten minutes in it releases, hitting something close to a sludge groove. It's only when it ends, in the brief silence before the following track starts, do I realise the tranfixation I've been held in. There's more kineticism to the opening of Towers of Dust, the tempo seemingly always pushing onwards towards a cathartic outburst splurge, yet that freedom is never attained, always clawed back into the nightmarish quagmire just as the light begins to shine through.
Barren Soil dredges even deeper, momentum non existent, a doped sound so slumberous it starts, ponderously, edging ever so slightly into Sunn 0))) territory. Within closer Into the Sun, a head nodding riff is enough to break the spell, an awakening afforded. There follows a Neurosis-like calm before the storm ceasefire, shattered outwards with angered guitar wails and pained vocals.
Doom reduction, heated to dissolve all but the purest of elements, collating them into a grueling outlay of the darkest components of the sounds we all love. This isn't the easiest of listens, but it is so wholesome and complete you are compelled to remain and adhere. At the end, there's a strange emotion overriding, a refreshment, a cleanse. And then, a couple of seconds after, you press play on the whole thing again and delve back in.