Absinthropy/Salix Babylonica – Split Release (Clobber Records)
Review by Steve Thomas-Green
Years ago, back in the cd days…ha ha, I know they’re not dead, but you know what I mean, in the pre-digital days, split albums were frowned upon, mainly as they didn’t sell as well and their currency (in the trading world) was marked down compared to a single band album release.
For me though, I’ve always been a big fan of them as I got to check out at least one more (extra) band.
So here we have two bands, from different parts of the world, coming together for a single release. From Ecuador we have Salix Babylonica, and kicking things off, are UK band, Absinthropy.
I’m a little behind with the UK scene at the moment, so as far as I’m aware, this is my first encounter with Leamington Spa duo, Absinthropy, who formed a decade ago.
Crescent Hooks Above Twilight Gardens, the first track, of their allotted three, is a mesmerizing beast, with the same riff constantly repeated, while guttural vocals are laid on top of a plodding, Doom laden beat until the song starts to speed up, about halfway through its five minute duration… this also heralds the first sign of the Black Metal that’s to follow, with the vocals morphing from Death Metal to razor sharp Black Metal.
The Doom and Death Metal influences are now long gone as the band rattle through some old school Black Metal, full of atmosphere and at a galloping pace that falls just below the need for blastbeats. And holding back, just a small amount, keeps the melody intact and stops this becoming a pointless blastfest… so top marks for the arrangements and the accessibility of the music.
Ecuador’s Salix Babylonica offer up two slices of miserable, Doom tinged with Black Metal influences. My research tells me the vocalist is female, my ears aren’t so sure… she can growl as good as any man and her voice is immense. Mixed in with the guttural tones are a few more delicate moments, but for the most part, their tracks are drenched in misery and despair
Of the two, I favour, Dead Birds of the City, as it reminds of the Cadaveria era of Opera 1X… and this definitely whets the appetite for some more material.
So for Clobber Records, top marks on selecting both bands as both are very interesting and deserve further investigation