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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Earthflesh & Eyerolls - Elemental Atrocities [Trepanation Recordings / Bent Window Records - 2022]

Earthflesh, aka Bruno Silvestre Favez, hailing from Switzerland and Eyerolls, aka Mx. Zoe!, hailing from Maryland, USA, came together for Elemental Atrocities. It’s a collaboration rather than a split, as both are joining forces to create the work here. We find harsh noise mixed with the drone and dark ambient elements, then infused with HNW and ANW details and occasional field recording/ samples. Altogether it makes for a quite volatile sonic cocktail, high with agony and despair. 

The album consists of a single 58-minute piece. It opens with a dark ambient passage, which grows slowly giving an impression of the forthcoming mayhem. As it unfolds it’s filled with scattered hellish sounds that roam upon the main theme. As the darkness gets obliterated, the harshness is embraced. 

From the middle of the piece and onwards, there’s a peak where things are getting harsher, with hostile and concrete soundwaves penetrating everything. Concealed melodies are obscured under a thick veil of electrified noise, which confronts the low-frequency foundation, and is mercilessly cut with spikes of high frequency. It becomes a thick sound, plural, complete, exaggerated, absolute! A clash of ideas in an enormously creative manner. 

Eventually, the corroded dust of this sonic annihilation is precipitating, with the macabre is turning into eerie, as we return to the dark ambient origins of the work, before the track trails off back into silent blackness.

Elemental Atrocities certainly is a spectacular wall of sound featuring various dynamics and layers. It is not monolithic, as it extends to a big spectrum of dark experimental disciplines, with many shifts and surprises along its length. The album is much like T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men”: this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper! In a cyclic manoeuvre, Elemental Atrocities returns to its beginning like an ouroboros, but having consumed everything in its forsaken path!.

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

Karl Grümpe
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