He Whose Ox Is Gored - Paralyzer
Chain Letter Collective
Ethereal Sludge
3 songs (11'12")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Alex

I plead guilty to missing Seattle’s He Whose Ox Is Gored The Camel, The Lion, The Child landmark album of progressive doomgaze. Thus, I am not entirely qualified to comment on the tracks of the recently issued 7” EP Paralyzer, whether they are something issued earlier and remixed, or new compositions. (Actually, research shows that Buried Twice and Void Assault come from He Whose Ox Is Gored EP which preceded The Camel, The Lion, The Child).

At the same time the moniker of the band itself is something that draws attention. That, and the description of Paralyzer being ethereal sludge, is very intriguing. What He Whose Ox Is Gored do with their music is to pile together, at first glance incongruously, doom, shoegaze, psychedelia and punk (the vocals here are mostly hysterical screams). But then when you spend time with this release you recognize a picture akin to a simple scientific laboratory setting. Just like gas is allowed to occupy every crevice of an otherwise solid vacuumed matrix, if it is piped into a closed space, in the same manner the band sets percussive and heavy foundation, and then proceeds to fill every other musical level remaining with atmosphere, be it synthesizers (title track) or vocals distorted by some electronic device beyond recognition (Buried Twice). If a classic doom band can be called “earthly”, then He Whose Ox Is Gored deserves the designation of “airy”. And since we are hung up upside down or, at best, sideways, within the light and, at the same time, dense matrix of the title track and Buried Twice, the constantly pushing wave of music by these Pacific Northwest residents creates the feel of complete and utter disorientation. You are then allowed to reach for a psychedelic pill, your marijuana joint, and drift away to a voiceless, title contradicting, full synth dissolution of Void Assault.

Killing Songs :
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