|This lengthy split CD with two of the most unique and interesting underground bands of this moment, belongs without any doubt to the finest and most distinguishable output of the newly founded ultra-underground label NULLL Records. The two bands sound clearly quite different from each other, yet there is a feeling of paranoia and madness which permeates all six tracks on this release.|
The first band to be set loose upon the listener, is the newly founded Torture Wheel, a project of E.M. Hearst (perhaps better known in some circles from noise/ambient solo projects like Margaret Hearst and Wraith of the Ropes). Contrary to what the band name might suggest, Torture Wheel doesn't consist of a dazzling collection of extreme and agonizing sounds; instead it offers a more insidious, subtle point of view on torture and pain. A mysteriously floating 'feel' dominates the three tracks, which seem to dwell in unknown realms, freed from the constraints of time and space. An almost laid back, jazzy atmosphere characterizes those compositions, yet there is always an uncomfortable feel lingering in the background heralding a vague - yet definitely present-foreboding doom. At times reminding of the otherworldliness of Esoteric, at other times of the oppressiveness of Winter, there is definitely a very 'heavy' aspect in the sound of this project, although this heaviness is rather the result of the threatening atmosphere of detachment than anything else, as if the mastermind behind this work tries to distance himself from an impersonal yet omnipresent anxiety.
If Torture Wheel is the more subtle approach to the musical expression of pain and madness, Uncertainty Principle is exactly the opposite. The distorted, painful guitar sound brings tears to the listener's eyes. And sure enough, those are not tears of pleasure. All compositions seem to drown in this characteristic guitar sound, a terribly noisy and macabre expression of fear, humiliation and absolute submission to the unavoidable. Typical for this band -as well as for the other split partner - is the fact that the vocals are mixed carefully in the background, creating an atmosphere of paranoia and threat rather than offering a brutal assault.
The highlight of the three tracks of Uncertainty Principle - actually of the whole album- is the 12-minute long dirge 'Antilight', an absolutely devastating, breathtakingly heavy and painfully monotonous version of 'Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata'. When you switch off your CD player and the track is still playing in your mind, you know that something special is going on here. The atmosphere of bleak monotony and utter hopelessness simply won’t let you go. Perhaps somewhat overshadowed by the releases of 'bigger' underground acts, this split album is nevertheless a raw diamond, a rare gem that can offer a lot to the connoisseur of the extreme genre. Contact NULLL records at email@example.com today rather than tomorrow, for quality and talent must be supported and encouraged.
1. Broken by the wheel
2. Shadow sect
4. All these moments will be lost
Duration : Approx. 67 minutes
Visit the Torture Wheel bandpage.