(Skin Trade Recordings)

Atonal blackness envelops, night rife with existential danger. Caustic machinations manipulated for maximum terror haunt rather than emanate from stereo speakers, their psychic dread lasting long after the final tone is sounded. These cosmic nightmarescapes are augmented with horrifying vocalizations, communications from the very darkest pockets of existence, universes where decay and destruction mask the demonic inhabitants. The sounds resolve themselves in pulses of charred oblivion.

And that’s just the Actuary side! In somewhat of a reversal of what I’ve just described, Actuary has this message of gratitude on the inside of the j-card: “To those who struggle but get it done anyways.” Actuary gets it done, but the sound is the sound of struggle, difficult to hear and digest. But that’s the point. At any rate, “Possessing Power” is one of the coolest noise tracks I’ve heard in a while. It’s harsh but it’s surprisingly listenable as I recline in the jaws of an irate hellhound.

Seamstress does not let up on the unholy racket, plowing through the single track on side B, “Carbon Silhouette,” like their hair was on fire, or their gear, or the ground upon which they walk. Hallucinating the entire way through the side, Seamstress doles out harsh trip after harsh trip, magnifying the darkness inherent in the shadow of the silhouette cast. A nice counterpoint to Actuary, Seamstress plays music that’s the equivalent of a lava lamp filled with black liquid buoying black bubbles of a slightly different blackness. This whole thing’s a harrowing experience. It’s great to dig into.

Skin Trade Recordings

--Ryan Masteller