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Aluk Todolo : Descension

After the utterly strange self-titled debut 7" one wouldn't ever expect these guys to return to anything ordinary. Nor have they on this, their first full-length (although at 35 minutes it is quite a short one). However, they have included more of the black metal elements than on the 7". The only noteworthy difference that this makes to the listening experience is that the music has slightly more buzz to it. The ominous krautrock rhythms still produce the same mesmerising effect, which is only at a few instances interrupted by a tempo change or a bright, horror struck screeching noise. Industrialised dark ambient elements give the music the same unnerving feeling as Halo Manash or I.Corax. Whilst the band claims that it has religious purposes, the music makes such a journey seem to me like it's something of Lovecraftian horror rather than altered states of consciousness.

To continue with the idea of this as a religious experience, Aluk Todolo is an Indonesian religion which inspired the name of this project. It's a religion of ancestor worship and is known for their advanced burial rites that include, sometimes immense, bloody sacrifices of water buffalos and pigs. What religious rites the project members perform during the recording of the music is unknown to me, but it seems that the only major connection their music has to the origin of the name is that they attempt to understand other planes of existence. As with all the upside down writing on the cover of the CD, it seems to me that all of this is the result of wanting an evil image.

No matter the reason for the oddities of this album, it's still one of the most intriguing releases from 2007. They have achieved a massive amount of appraisal for it and fans from as divided musical communities such as black metal, psychedelia (thus including krautrock), dark ambient and progressive rock, all seem to fancy this. It's one of those releases which one would never believe could become so popular, but it seems that Aluk Todolo is becoming a band with quite a cult status.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Obedience
2. Burial Ground
3. Woodchurch
4. Disease

Duration : Approx. 35 minutes

Visit the Aluk Todolo bandpage.

Reviewed on 10-02-2008 by Arnstein Petersen
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