[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
When the lights flicker out this is what I’ll be listening to. I suspect quite a few people are familiar with this project, it has been a favorite of mine for quite a while now.
The fascinating evolution which characterizes this project is more than evident; things have somehow taken on an even grimmer tone courtesy of the churning beats that feature strongly on several tracks… “Set the Night on Fire” is probably the one which hits me the hardest as layer upon layer of masticated electronics are thrown up against my ears and then drain away slowly, their echoing screams running up and down my spine with blinding rapacity. If you hear this record and think to yourself that it is the aftermath of a locust swarm decimating the fields you’d be not far from the mark. Here’s what I think we’re dealing with:
This latest work is a bombastic, rollicking series of night side compositions which seek to isolate you from the world outside and drag you down into the depths; the thundering atmospheres move across ‘Instincts’ like a deadly manifestation of elemental vengeance. I can hear the end of our entire species transpiring when I tune in; the pleas for mercy, the desperation as we crowd like plague rats beneath the unremitting vitriol of a planet we have abused for the very last time. The absolute finality which has been conjured up is breath-taking, I couldn’t tell you the last time I heard a release that nailed hopelessness so well. No one will be left to remark on humankind’s closing scene. The scenery is cold… lifeless… used up and burnt out.
It’s not a question of passively enjoying what’s on offer with material of this caliber, submission is the key. Think back -if applicable- to those old Will releases you own but don’t play around anyone else, remember what it felt like the first time hearing them. Snowbeasts don’t have the orchestral bent or the vocals but what they do share is the same morbid tone which will captivate your mind until it capitulates; like looking into the eyes of the Medusa, a person knows that it’s killing them but there’s no chance they’d ever turn away.
A stony compendium of meditations drawn from forgotten grounds many would prefer to leave fallow.
Unlike their other projects, those behind Snowbeasts let the machines run a bit wilder when they work under this name. I even get hints of National Razor when moving through the nightmarish landscapes wrought out of ruin they’ve composed! There’s such a sense of abandonment and betrayal to drink in, a cruelty which does not end. Abuses and atrocities, legion upon legion of faceless names blotted out of history’s ledger as though they never existed. Most disturbingly, everything I’ve alluded to cannot be definitively quantified… it’s just a feeling. The feeling of a malicious presence wondering why man has lingered so long.