An Axis of Perdition - Effluvia (EP)
Dark Ambient, Industrial
3 songs (33:37)
Release year: 2020
Official Bandcamp
Reviewed by Goat

Comprising material from the Urfe sessions remixed by the band in 2012 for their own use and only released now, this is the first signs of life from the entity known previously both as Axis of Perdition and The Axis of Perdition since 2011's Tenements (of the Anointed Flesh). If there was a choice about which era of the band to mine for further gold in, that odd experiment in spoken word wouldn't be the first for most given how strong the albums before it were. An Axis of Perdition, as they now choose to be known, were always strongest when at their most atmospheric as on 2005's classic Deleted Scenes from the Transition Hospital, and even the more hateful and raw debut The Ichneumon Method was disturbing and hypnotic in effect. Yet those albums remain terrific in their current incarnations, while Urfe was always desperately in need of reworking. So the thought behind this stopgap EP is there, and indeed Effluvia shows that the dark ambient backdrop of Urfe had more potential than realised.

Opener Echoes is a minimalist eleven-minute piece that suggests the band's usually horrific world empty of the guiding voice of Urfe, indeed, empty of all life. It is a lightly industrial soundscape with distant stirrings, mechanical rustling and rumbling in the second half with something like the beginning of an idea of post-rock-esque melody that turns more ominous as it builds. The following ten-minute Tunnels is deeper and darker, as the title would suggest, oddly metallic humming and creaking all that breaks the white noise. This is built upon in the more industrial final Encounters, as a dark, monstrous presence makes itself known through a kind of distorted, disgustingly liquid heartbeat, with scraping metal and the sounds of impact upon something breakable suggesting that this world is not as empty as you thought. It builds and builds, and an actual beat is introduced beneath the commotion, not at all danceable but overall coming across like a nightmarish alternate reality where Einstürzende Neubauten got very dark indeed. The beat vanishes, and the cacophony slows back to near-silence, and your trip back into the world of An Axis of Perdition is over. Less effective than their most horrific pieces, indeed, but still effective exploration of dark, horror-related soundscapes, this will be of primary interest to fans who want, as the band state, "a window to peer from the contemporary vantage of self-isolation into the hidden depths of a darker place". Apparently further new material is coming from the project; for the meantime, this is a reminder of that deeper, darker place, a much more subtle horror experience than Urfe's excess.

Killing Songs :
Tunnels, Encounters
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