Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Utarm - Minus the Divine

Demo, Turgid Animal Records

I have been on the lookout for the most fucked up music recently. Been constantly listening to a lot of sludge, drone and noise. This search finally led me to Utarm; a band from Norway, who label their style as ‘experimental black metal’. But I assure you, this is nothing like the other experimental bands that you have heard.

A lot of amazing things are happening in the underground black metal scene at the moment. Many amazing bands are being spawned with alarming regularity. Lot of brilliant releases which are destined to remain underground and unheard. And none more extreme than this release by Utarm. Minus The Divine is a follow-up to the brilliant full-length release, Mutilation Epoch

The album starts off with the amazing opener, ‘The Greatest Lie’. It gives you an idea of what to expect in the rest of the album. It starts off with a slight buzz with some ambience thrown in complimented by some whispered vocals creating an unsettling atmosphere. Just when you begin to settle in, the buzz grows louder and before you know it, you are suffocated by a wall of noise. This never lets up throughout the album and with every passing moment, you can feel yourself drifting deeper and deeper into a dark abyss. As unexpectedly as it began, the noise subsides and gives way to the next track ‘Knives, Veins and the God of Nothingness’. It’s a three minute long track with some screams over a disturbing, troubling piece of ambience. The third track is the title track. Definitely one of the best I have ever heard in this genre. Simple in its execution, it is evil and depressing. Some of the darkest music I have ever heard. The song is raw and never lets up. Pure emotional annihilation. The next track, ‘Flesh and Flames’ follows the same path. A fucked up mixture of drone, black metal and noise that threatens to destroy your senses.

This is not an easy release to listen to. It is not easy to grasp. My review probably doesn’t do enough justice to it. It has a nice raw and primitive sound, but packed with so much of emotion and energy. It reeks of desperation, despondency, hopelessness, anger and sadness. Every passing moment, you are pulled deeper and deeper into this abyss, this abyss from where it is virtually impossible to get out of. It is akin to drowning underwater with somebody holding your head down. It is an intense experience and will destroy every fabric of happiness and joy in your life.

This is not meant to be a casual listen. Listen to it with all of your attention and listen to the album as a whole. Only then will you be able to appreciate it. This is one experience you don’t want to miss.

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