Boomkat Product Review:
Visionary Sunn 0))) guitarist Stephen O’Malley collapses black metal and spectralist music into the claw-handed amp worship of ‘Auflösung der Zeit’, a crushing, tantric 45 minute live recording made in Paris, 2018 and livicated to Iancu Dumitrescu.
Conceived as a counterpart to ‘The Guidebook of Church Burners’ - a book on the iconography and history of black metal - the two keeling parts of ‘Auflösung der Zeit’ form O’Malley’s follow-up to 2019’s blink-and-miss release of ‘ĀKASA-DHĀTU’ with a typically whelming display of tonal and atmospheric mastery. We can hardly imagine anyone better to distill and dematerialise the quintessence of Black Metal at its most oblique yet tangible, and O’Malley serves the ideal accompaniment for burying your head in a book about iconoclastic vikings and their antipathy to organised religion.
Where the book explores and transforms the multiple facets of black metal iconography and history, O’Malley’s music in ‘Auflösung der Zeit’ reflects a dialogue between sound and image with an oppressively absorbing performance of earth shuddering subharmonic distortion. Just like his notorious solo and group shows with Sunn 0))), the music definitely benefits from as much amplification (amplivication?) you or your stereo can take for the richest synaesthetic experience of pure sound pressure on skin.
But there’s also a more needling focus on the mid-range frequencies here which brings to life the brittle, spirit-gnawing nature of black metal in a more impressionistic sense that abstractly resonates with Iancu Dumitrescu’s groundbreaking Romanian spectralist music, which could be heard as a not-so-distant cousin of Black Metal's key atmospheric quality as much as, say, When’s ‘Black Death’, which also shares that quality of saying it...without saying it.