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Horseback and Locrian: New Dominions

I reviewed Horseback's full-length album Half Blood back in April 2012. As I review my comments from back then, I recall that I was mostly drawn to the fascinating mixture of sounds that Jenks Miller creates. For listeners new to this style of music, be prepared for minimal chord progressions, spare use of vocals, and an overall sense of gloom. Music like this is somewhat unsettling, a soundtrack to a nightmare, not one full of monsters, but one made up of threatening spaces and anxious thoughts. It's fairly non-traditional, especially for fans of traditional metal; nevertheless, its eclectic range of drone and black metal sounds should attract curious listeners. Even though I've been commenting on Horseback's overall style, New Dominions is not so much a new release by them as it is a joint collaborative venture with Locrian, a band also acclaimed for their own blend of drone and blackened metal.

Some of the work on this release has been available previously, but New Dominions is not merely a rehash of that material. It is both a remastering and expansion of earlier work with four additional tracks, including a remix of "The Gift" by James Plotkin, a legendary underground player and producer. It's a good album, but not one that I would listen to again and again. I like drone, but mostly in smaller portions than this. Ironically, my favorite track was "Our Epitaph," a thirteen minute song with very little variety. I think it was the bass line that drew my attention, perhaps because it kept my ears in line with the rest of the music. The other tracks, to me, were less interesting, though "In the Absence of Light" was kind of cool. Listeners coming to this album, or this musical style, for the first time, should tread carefully. There's a lot to be gained with patience and persistence, but not everyone will like it.

Track Listing:
1. The Gift
2. Our Epitaph
3. Oblivion Eaters
4. In the Absence of Light
5. The Gift--Remix by James Plotkin

Added: December 28th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 1647
Language: english

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