Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Unkerd Wood / Pact Of Ash / Gammal Sed ‎– Northern Retaliation split tape

3-way split tape by three projects with overlapping memberships: Lee Stokoe's Pact Of Ash begins the program with a 9-minute instrumental slow barrage of black metal riffing and dead-slow drums that somewhat reminds me of that awesome Murmuüre album in 2010. Unkerd Wood consists of Mike Simpson (Xazzaz, Oppenheimer, Dark Bargain, and Satanhartalt - all of which have been covered here) on bass & vocals, Jamie Stewart (Wrest, Fuckin' Amateurs Records, Oppenheimer, Dark Bargain, and Satanhartalt) on drums, and George Proctor (Legion Blotan/Turgid Animal Records, Mutant Ape, Inseminoid, ex-Skullflower) on guitar & vocals. I already liked their ultra-lo-fi, dungeon-sounding, black-hole black/doom metal, but this track is just UNBELIEVABLE,. It's a 16-minute epic of slowly grinding drums and bass, wailing and dissonant guitars, and some of the most seriously scary vocals I've heard invoking terrible swampy creatures and seems to me like a more structured version of the ritual darkness of Satanhartalt. At the 9-minute mark, everything stops and an ominous ritual dark ambient drone takes over, only to give its place after 2 minutes to one of the best riffs black metal has ever experienced, a reverbed cacophonous arpeggiated anthemic thing sustained by crushing drums and noise and a blurry psychedelic doom/blues vibe behind it that simply crushes everything. I think that this tape must be bought/listened to even just for this track. Finally, there's Gammal Sed, a solo (I think) project of George Proctor, where he plays catatonic, depressive but loud and noisy black metal revolving around a great arpeggiated riff eventually morphing into a noisy industrial/ambient chaos. All three of these groups are great, and they have released other stuff on Legion Blotan and Matching Head that deserve listening/buying. 2017 tape on Legion Blotan.


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