Year of release: 2014
Released by: self-release
Rating: 4,2 / 10
Let's move on to the release from the promotional pack of the Nameless Label, which left me with the least positive - or even the most negative - impression. In 2014, at the height of the war between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the young bands IL ((Moscow) and SOOM (Kharkov) refused to add fuel to the fire - on the contrary, they tried to strengthen the friendship of nations by releasing a split. For both bands, it was only the second release in their careers. Before this, IL released their first album, and SOOM participated in the split with PRESSOR and DIAZEPAM. I am already more or less familiar with the work of both bands. The first, thanks to local publisher Decadence Within, releasing IL on tapes, are always presented in Possession prods distro. IL music is absolutely not my cup of tea, but it should be noted that the aesthetics of their work is simply amazing. The CDs of Ukrainians, thanks to the Nameless Label, are now awaiting reviews of themselves, lying on my desk. My attitude to SOOM has not yet fully formed, but it’s good that I first listened to the albums, and then this split, otherwise the first impression could negatively affect the whole perception.
It is very simple to describe the essence of the split: it is a shamelessly drawn-out drone-doom / sludge / noise / ambient. SOOM offers a viscous mess of slow and dirty guitar riffs, throbbing bass, insane vocals and drum kicks that splurge into this slurry and spray it around. The only impression is disgust. Not strong, which the musicians probably tried to achieve, but bored. In fact, in both SOOM compositions for more than 15 minutes they play the main riffs (one per song) again and again, and, contrary to even my own expectations, this is both not hypnotizing and not annoying. The music quickly goes off into the background, the attention inevitably dissipates, and the concentration returns only to the end of the second track, announced by the intentionally false kind of guitar solo. After that, it feels like you were looking at a handful of drunk men, crouching in the mud for half an hour, and they did not even fight in the end - where they were, they fell asleep. I think I understood what atmosphere the Ukrainians wanted to create on their half of the split, but I could not feel it. Nothing catchy here. Honestly, the three notes of Burzum's “Rundtgåing av den transcendentale egenhetens støtte” are much deeper and interesting.
Maybe IL did better? Alas, the exact opposite is true. “Dirt” is a seemingly endless 22-minute marathon of absurd fucking with a guitar and other miserable instruments. If SOOM even had some structures, then here they seem to be considered something of a bad taste. Any semblance of logic in building a composition is ruthlessly overwritten within 30 seconds. The sound is awfully weak. Quite often, samples from movies come into play, and they, even out of context, look more meaningful than the musical part. Such absurdity can be composed in packs. I have often heard soundchecks before live gigs, which were much more interesting than “Dirt”! The second thing, “Understanding,” turns out to be the same hat, but it has the advantage of being almost 7 minutes shorter. However, this is still 15 minutes of low-frequency squeak, samples from Soviet cinema, guitar feedbacks and other erratic sounds, from which one of the most dull canvases that I heard in recent years is woven.
It’s even a little disappointing that the design of the split is amazing. Digipack and the 8-page booklet attached to it are designed by Yag Mort, and this, as you should already know, is a huge plus. The music on this split does not cause even half of the sensations that design gives. Details on a video. Digipack was released by the bands themselves, however, the Nameless Label bought half of the print run from them, so now you can purchase the CDs at label's Bandcamp page: