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Ritual Stance - Cold Dark Steel [Void Seance - 2011]

Ritual Stance is an offten texturally active and atmosphric one man HNW project from Richmond, Virginia. ‘Cold Dark Steel’ offers up three tracks, and just under an hours worth of brutally atmospheric HNW matter.

The release opens up with the kinky yet creepy entitled ‘Whispers Through a tight Laced mask’ which comes in at just under the thirty seven minute mark, and is the longest track on offer here. The tracks ‘wall’ is built around a mixture of very bleak and sinister billowing tunnel type drone, and cold yet detailed juddering bound static like rain falls. The sinster tunnel billowing tone is kept mainly in a  unmoving  state through out the track, but the static rain elements are subtle and dramatically shifted from: thick and tightly interlocking attacks, to more shifting washers of static downpour, onto more thinner and  sinister atmospheric  static dwells. The track really nicely captures the vibe of sinister or murderous going on in either a flickering neo-light underpass, or under a shadowy motorway bridge in mid autumn. It’s a great conistent track that keeps you brutallly hooked and slightly creeped out over it’s full near on forty minute playtime.

Next up we have ‘Rope Marks’,  and this comes in at spot on the five minute mark. This  ‘walls’ starts out quite thin and chilling with this looped cold and buzzing electro tone, then by just under the thirty seconds an second a slight louder electro drilling/buzzing element is added to the ‘wall’. Ritual Stance feeds these two elements into a highly hypnotic yet slightly brain scrambling brutal mesh of sound.

Lastly we have just over fifteen minutes of ‘She requested To Keep the mask on pt.2’. This track is nicely sequence   after the second track, and  it starts with a sudden yet brief meaty yet higher pitched tone dwell. Then we fall into to this wind battering and slightly whistling ‘wall’ of atmospheric mid tone noise, as the track progresses Ritual Stance  aptly and subtle shifts the wall from: rich bass winter wind batterings, up to high pitched whistling and fan belt like grating, through to buried shakes and hammerings, and beyond- it’s the most active of the three tracks here yet it always keeps remains pushing, thick and wall-like. To my mind it brings to mind a growing panicked chase around a pleasure boat on the high seas, as a  killer chases its victim round and round the decks.  One thing I’m not so keen on about this track is the way that in it's last few minutes Ritual Stance  starts to shift and added in noise textures that don’t seem to fit the mood of the track, and it feels like he’s just throwing everything into the mix- but thankfully the track exists fairly soon. So for the most part a very effective, active and murderously atmospheric end to the release.

‘Cold Dark Steel’ is my first taster of this projects work, and I must say I’m highly impressed as all of the tracks here nicely mix  togeather original textural brutality, atmosphere, and entrancing structures. So if you dig relatively active HNW with dramatic yet brutal edge to it this is a must have item.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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