Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review of "New Dominions" by Horseback & Locrian

Buy this album

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

‘New Dominions’ is the product of the collaborative work of two pillars of underground blackened-doom-drone acts Horseback and Locrian. Both acts are well loved for their own flavors of wholly original smoldering blackened drone, but combining forces finds them creating a beautiful piece of mysterious darkened psychedelia. Previously available only in an extremely limited vinyl pressing, ‘New Dominions’ has been remastered by James Plotkin and expanded to include 3 more tracks. First edition of the cd is housed in a gorgeous mini-LP style tip on jacket.

With Locrian’s “The Clearing/The Final Epoch” being a boring extremely long drawn out listen in my opinion, I gave Horseback’s “Half Blood” a listen before heading off into the collaboration. Horseback gave me hope as their album made me believe they may help add to the ambience of Locrian. It wasn’t boring, although it was quite ambient in style for the most part, but their doom metal ways helped me through their album and their vocals are quite amazing. Now, onto what I thought of the collaboration album, “New Dominions.”

“The Gift” starts this album off with six minutes ambience, with atmospheric winds and various different noises. The growls were great, most likely from Horseback. The drumming three quarters the way through made the track less boring in my opinion. Bringing very grim feeling guitar and bass with the echoing voices, is the next track “Our Epitaph.” It is a very long track coming in at almost fourteen minutes and the increase of ambience made it a little more interesting and gruelling. I really wish they changed the guitars up even a little bit because for the length of the track, it was quite repetitive and tiresome. The ambience in “Oblivion Eaters” was a little more enjoyable. With a mix of upbeat style sounds and Horseback’s grim vocals, it made for very interesting listen.

The doom driven bass in the beginning of “In the Absence of Light” made me have hope that this track may have more substance, which it did a little. Bringing an eerie feel and staying with the track title, the guitar in the background was creepy, especially when more comes over top as the effect on it is even more so dark. The lingering moaning voice added to the overall feel. Being that last actual track, it ended the album on an alright note. The last track is a remix of the first track “The Gift” and was done by James Plotkin. Not being one for remixes I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the way it was done makes the original, feel grimmer with the effects used and such. The drums come in sooner in the remix and it takes all the more interesting parts and mashes them together. I kind of like this better than the original.

This album wasn’t as good as I was expecting, but Horseback did add things to the mix I enjoyed. They are a mix of ambient and doom, also bringing a more vocal side to the table, making the album grimmer with instruments and growls. This album was alright for what it was and I may give some tracks another listen but I think Horseback by themselves are better since they have some track which are more doom than ambient in their style. I recommend picking this up if you like ambient metal. I, for one, am not all that fond of it but Horseback makes this album more enjoyable.

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