Oblive - Slovenian Darkness/Krokodil Warfare [Altar Of Waste Records - 2012]Oblive are one of the most consistent & rewarding acts to appear from the US HNW scene in the last three to four years. This new three track CDR release from this Missouri based project is it’s first full length in a few years, and I’m happy to report it’s up there with the projects normally high & brutal standards.
The release is apparently themed around the darker/colder side of Slovenian folklore, landscape & weather. With the DVD case artwork taking in black & white pictures of grim military fort like buildings in snow, and stark snow covered mountain landscapes
The release features three tracks in all & each hits around the ten minute mark. First of these is “Predjama I”, and this track is an extremely taut mixture of compressed ‘n’ crumbled bass tones that are cut ‘n’ sliced by slow snapping & jittering bleak downpours of cut-up crackling noise. The track sort of brings to mind trying to make your way through blacked quick sand, as your skin gets braised & cut by masses of painful hailstone that is pouring out of the heavy grey sky above you. The track remains taut, tense and fairly fixed through-out, though there are a few subtle shifts here & there with-in both textures.
Track two is entitled “Predjama II”, and this track is built around a cut ‘n’ looped section of rolling ‘n’ roaring bass bound static. Over the top of this are dips & splashes of thin jittering static which seems to be pinpricking the surface of the ‘wall’ like freezing cold drops of rain. Again this track is very taut & unforgiving, yet the driping/ splashing elements gives the whole thing a unreal bleak dream like quality. The track is fairly firm in it’s structure for most of it’s first half, but around the six minute mark the rolling & roar texture seems to shift & morph a little bit into a repetitive ‘n’ roasting locked gallop; with the jittering static seeming becoming more brittle & tensely crisp in it’s feel.
Lastly we have track three “Krokodil Warfare”, and this track is built around a trapped & violently juddering bass tone which is bayed by slightly higher/thinner jittering crackly. As the track goes on the two elements seem to drill/bore deeper & deeper into each other, and in the last three or so minutes the crackle element seems to get more manic & intense in it’s feel as it seemly spread out in a fixed yet panicked state. The ‘wall’ is wonderfully pressing & almost suffocate through-out, as it’s fixed nervy yet heavy weight pressers down on you. It’s a great end this very satisfying release.
“Slovenian Darkness/Krokodil Warfare” is simply put a near perfect brutal ‘n’ dark walled noise ride. Each of the three tracks here are as intense & unforgiving as each other, and each is equally effective in both execution & composition. If I hadn’t already picked my best of 2012, this release would have been high up in said list. This is a seriously great HNW release, and I urge you to track down one of this releases 15 copies before there are all gone!.Roger Batty