Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Under Gnarled Roots...

Bhutan - Behind Dark Woods EP (2013)

Bhutan's first release begins with a metallic rattling, a shifting glide of tone, and vibrations.  It's solidly representative of the album's atmosphere, which lurks in uneasy meldings of doom and drone-savoring post-metal.  Splitting the album's title into three tracks, Bhutan begin by shaping the feedback and layered synth effects into a dark setting with "Behind", letting the sounds push each other into new shapes and angles as their presence alters the whole.  A howling, acid-edged wall of bass or guitar (it's so heavily twisted, it's hard to say for sure which it is) is introduced with "Dead", spasming and keening away while the structure continues to mutate.  As Bhutan enter "Woods", the metal is burned right through to its base, allowing the group to rebuild from the ground up, which they choose to do so with slams of bass, recognizable rhythms, and a style that serves as home terrain for doomsters after the foreboding trip through the previous songs.
Bhutan have really pushed themselves to experiment with well-established styles on this debut, and the results are damned impressive.  They acquit themselves well in each of the modes, sounding equally at home in the foggy synth drifts, the hypnotic bleed of drone feedback, and the wintry funereal doom metal.  I find myself imagining how mind-melting the live performances must be, and consequently having to smooth the hairs of my arms back down, it brings such a chill.  It's just as exciting to think of where they'll go from this excellent starting point, which offers so many spine-tingling possibilities.  Venado Records and Zann's Music are the handlers for the CD edition, which comes with a poster, sticker, credit sheet, and a hand-made envelope for the disc.  Something for very cold nights or sunless days, to be played as loudly as you can handle.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Sutekh Hexen, Gnaw Their Tongues, Sunn O))), Akira Yamaoka, Thergothon


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