[Reviewed by stark]
Ashtoreth is a project by Peter Vervimp, a Belgian musician who has been active on the scene since the early 90s. He was a member of various music/art/performance collectives, and has visited pretty huge parts of the world with them. But it seems that it is just now that he found the most comfortable conditions to develop his own vision of music. Alone, in the underground, with only a guitar and some effects. The core of creativity.
His latest offering is the “Rites I & II” album released by the currently Berlin-based Cyclic Law label. Two long tracks made by a modern-day shaman for those who still feel a deep connection with nature and being able to reach it even beyond the walls of contemporary urban madness. Indeed, it can be described as a ritual, but not in a primal form, with rhythms, dances and sacrifices, but rather a drug-driven meditation (with music as the drug), channeling ways for journeying there and beyond.
Both tracks are slowly developing, they meander through various emotions, gently morphing from one to another. Electric guitar riffs along with vocal moans and laments drill your skull.
Atmospheric drones and passages calm you down and make you feel dreamy. Deep dark drones suck out all vital forces and give it back to nature. Ambient post-rock forms bring a glimpse of serenity to your mind… And these are only the elements you hear in the foreground, while there’s so much happening down there, on the second, third, fourth layer. All these tiny decorations, which makes this work complete
It’s a very condensed album, it’s less than 40 minutes long, but personally it makes me fulfilled more than a lot of an hour or longer releases. I enjoy this one and looking forward the Rites III and IV.