Sink - The Holy Testament parts 1 & 2
Svart Records
Black metal/noise/doom
Disc 1: 7 songs (43:36) Disc 2: 5 songs (41:05)
Release year: 2013
Sink, Svart Records
Reviewed by Charles
Hey! This is fun! And by fun, what I actually mean is horrifyingly bleak.

Sink is a Finnish blackened drone project, and this record is a composite of the tracks from the first Holy Testament release from 2011, combined with the new tracks that comprise its sequel. Because Svart Records are releasing this as a double album, that’s how I’ll treat it for this review. And very dark it is too. The band’s music is based around sickly sonic constructions that lurk somewhere between faded blackened groan and sinister ambient. So you will find some tracks that are creepy exercises in electronic textures, somewhat comparable to Locrian, and others where a doomy blackness sets in. The latter elements, in particular, have had me captivated, conjuring any number of names from the less smiley end of the black metal spectrum- Gris, Contra Ignem Fatuum, Murmuure, Nortt and so forth.

It takes a while for something to really happen, here. Opening track Into the Platinum Skies is three minutes of whirring, whining tremolo guitar. And second track Ritual is a haze of oddball buzzing- that is, until an incongruously twinkly cymbal picks up a rapid tempo. It’s the kind of curious juxtaposition that reminds me of one of the ‘recipes’ from Mike Patton’s Pranzo Oltransista (the one where John Zorn starts soloing)- but actually that kind of avant-garde thing isn’t the deal here at all. Instead, we are then dumped into Ritual Transfigured, the first of several lengthy black metal tracks here. And this is where things really get started. Eerie Ruins of Beverast-style chanting (think the first track of the Foulest Semen… album) accompanies a rain-sodden black metal dirge. A particularly pestilential riff underpins the second half of the track, around which creeps a freakish crescendo of hissing vocals, rumbling percussion and increasingly distorted electronic noise. Immense.

As Holy Testament progresses, it continues to flicker between short fragments of minimalist noise, and these monolithic expanses of gloomy metal. Sometimes, there is a strong influence from horridly abstract funeral doom- like on Cold Stars or the grimly reverberating Necropolis, and we also find traces of dark industrial- see Into the Current. But while the song lengths and influences vary, the sense of grinding misery is remarkably cohesive. It’s a highly impressive record, all told, and one that anyone purporting to be into grim music should hunt down.

Killing Songs :
Ritual Transfigured, Dominian, Cold Stars
Charles quoted 90 / 100
1 readers voted
Your quote was: 97.
Change your vote

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:02 pm
View and Post comments