Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ALTAR OF FLIES "Consequences" (Husk Records)

Swedish artist Mattias Gustafsson has maintained a prolific output in the two years that he has been releasing material under the Altar of Flies moniker. What sets "Consequences" apart from the legions of mixer-effects-feedback-loop projects is its sense of space, timing and consistency of atmosphere. Right off the bat the churning, guttural spasms and oscillations like helicopter blades brought to mind the likes of Withdrawal Method or Charlie Draheim, albeit with little or no microphone feedback. Side two is more sparse than suffocating, with high pitched waves sharply contrasting with dark junk metal destruction followed by a ridiculously strange duet between a double bass and an animal like thumping sound. Only during brief moments does "Consequences" dip into full-on harsh rumble except for the conclusion to the second side. Most of the recording is subdued, but only in the most foreboding sense. Finally, the package features some fine "gross but clean" design work by Mattias Frisk, including a hilariously demented take on the Jagermeister logo. Nice.