Antifrost

This 280-copy limited edition triple-LP box, the sequel to last year’s intriguing Roto Vildblomma, will, I suspect, appear in many reviewers’ best-of lists. Mohammad – Nikos Veliotis, Coti K and Ilios – seem to have been born to produce ominous sonorities together, and this set definitely places them in favorable position to dominate Subsonic Valley while keeping a residence in Dark Melody County. There may be three discs, each with its own title (respectively, “Malad Van”, “Yap Divòce Tectónica” and “Dis Koraci”), but the core of this music is one and only one: the purveying of gaping tremor, either self-sufficient or strategically placed in a basic configuration not describable as a “tune”, but maybe a part of one, perhaps conceived by Black Sabbath, played on a mellotron and transposed down an octave. The timbral recipe – cello, double bass and oscillators – leaves no doubt on what the ears identify and descramble for the brain to retransmit to the body. The essential traits are right there: a powerful kind of subliminal throb – the sort of oscillation that sets loose objects in rattle-and-buzz mode at less than whispered volume – is persistently in motion, almost never absent. Its clutch is occlusive and convincing, the habitual sturdy pulsation materializing in a few seconds. Still, it’s not just low-frequency galore. The lyrical material (no better way to call it) revolves around extensive tones intertwined in mournful counterpoint and a quasi-systematic use of glissando, a phenomenon which some scientist should study to understand its emphatic repercussions on human consciousness. Similarly, the extraordinary morphing hum that characterizes “Ülvi Borzadás” at the onset of the second album would be valuable for therapeutic purposes. On the other hand, “Moniman”, the awesome “Tectonica” and “Grad” sound like East-European folk melodies slowed down to tortoise pace, unembroidered funeral marches for the ottava alta. Not to mention a handful of infinitesimal details (including even a barking dog) that underpin the gloomy moods and the sense of physical desolation. Act fast and secure a copy of what is destined to become a cult item.

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