Thursday, 19 June 2008

Mirag - Black Temple Carved In Smoke

Label: Battlecruiser
Format: CDR
Released: 2006

"“Black Temple Carved in Smoke” is Matthew Bower’s (Sunroof!/Total/Hototogisu/ et al) contribution to Campbell Kneale’s ingenious Battlecruiser label, an imprint that features black and doom metal releases created by the alter egos of various drone/free titans. Previous Battlecruiser releases have featured, among others, Pete Nolan, Antony Milton, CJA and Kneale himself in a variety of blackened guises. Along with Ming’s “The Kill” and Myrtu’s “The Burning Ground,” “Black Temple Carved in Smoke” is perhaps the most captivating and essential of these fascinating releases. Foregoing recognizable or parodic metal touch points, Bower opts instead to construct a singular, howling, polyrhythmic maelstrom of sound.

The first untitled track finds Bower navigating through thick, foggy vistas of feedback and chugging percussion, blasting through the chaos with his characteristically searing riffs. Sections of the piece are reminiscent of “Ghosts from the Sun”-era Hototogisu, all white electricity and blistering guitar pyrotechnics. Track two is less rhythmic than its predecessor, opening with a torrent of feedback squeals and de-tuned riffing before spiraling downward into driving gloom and murk. Both tracks are fantastically heavy and quite compelling, my only complaint is the length of the disc, a shade less than fifteen minutes. Lets hope this isn’t just a one-off for Bower." 7/10 - Alex Cobb, Foxy Digitalis