Dead Procession - Rituais E Mantras Do Med [Dunkelheit Produktionen - 2016]Dead Procession is a mysterious Portuguese based project who creates stark/ almost punk like take on ritual music in the gloomy drone/ambient bracket. Here we have a two CD release from the project, and it features the bands full length debut with a second disc worth of demos/ etc. The release appears on German based label Dunkelheit Produktionen, who are more known for their underground black & death metal releases.
The release comes in a double jewel case presentation, and this takes monochrome & lo-fi pictures of underground crypts & darkened archways. As far as I can see this is an unlimited release, through I can’t imagine it had a huge pressing.
The first CD takes in the bands full length debut, and this entitled Rituais E Mantras Do Med ( English translation Meditation Rituals And Mantras)- which really sums up what the releases offers up. The CD takes in five tracks, and total running time of thirty three minutes. Each of the five tracks runs between the two & nearing ten minute mark. And for all five tracks the sound pallet is fairly sparse, similar, and greyly lo-fi - each is a blend of stripped back & basically structured drum patterns, bleak church like organ repetitions, chanted male vocals( which either sound slurred punk bound, gloomy 80’s Goth monk chant, or blunt shoegaze like), and the occasional addition of simmering & morbid guitar feedback. Each of the five tracks has a fairly similar, basic, and set feel to both their structure & bleak trudge. With whole thing coming off with a quite amateurish & slurred jam like feel, and in theory it shouldn’t really appeal…yet oddly it does in it’s slogging, locked, and laborious feel. You see more often than not ritual music is often fairly polished, pretty, layered & focused in it’s unfold, but due to very lo-fi & jam like quality Rituais E Mantras Do Med has more of doomed, hopeless, feel about it…meaning it feels somehow both out-of-time, & starkly practical.
The second disc is entitled MMIX/ MMXII, and this takes in selection of five tracks. These have running times between nearing seven & fourteen minutes, with a total disc running time of fifty four minutes. I guess you’d say the sound here is a bit more varied & less repetitious compared with the first disc…but it’s still very hopeless & barren in it’s lo-fi feel. The tracks move from crawling blends of organ simmer & guitar feedback, onto simplistic & basically recording dark ambient keyboard drones. Through to blends of distant chanted male vocals, and blunt ‘n’ shape-less doom/ black metal feedback fuzzes.
In summing up this two disc set offers a distinctive lo-fi/ stark/ jam-like take on gloomy ritual music- there is nothing pleasing, melodic, or nice about either the first or second disc here. But if you are looking for ritual music at it’s most pained, rundown, simple & doomed I could well see you quite enjoying this.Roger Batty