Boomkat Product Review:
Perhaps the most compelling of all the many projects started by one-time members of Wolf Eyes, Clay Rendering came to life in 2013 by Mike Connelly and his wife, Tara, and have since released a trio of singles for Hospital Productions that have gained them the admiration of followers spanning both electronic and metal communities. For their long-awaited debut album they mount a majestically forlorn soundtrip weaving black metal-tainted dream-pop with neo-folk and gothic ambience.
Resting in the long shadows cast by The Cure's widescreen 'Disintegration', or sharing the same, melancholy moonlight as Eyeless in Gaza's neo-folk pastures, the nine songs of 'Snowthorn' make good on the promise of three incredible singles issued between 2012-2014 by Hospital Productions, whose notorious overse'er Dominick Fernow also provides co-production details.
A record of romantic sehnsucht, it aches with a melodic nostalgia for turn-of-the-'90s alt-pop and swathes of post-industrial music, perhaps as antidote to time spent in the world's rudest rock band, or maybe more simply in order to express something that can only be understood via "proper" songs such as these.
It takes two tracks of air-charging instrumentals - the funereal drone accord of 'Maps on the Floor' and the lump-in-throat guitar chord progression of 'Swallow The Century' - before we hear the first vocals; courtesy of NYC writer Becka Diamond in 'Sight From Up There' with a distanced, elusive quality recalling the tone of MBV's 'Loveless' album but sung by Inga Copeland and produced by NIN, before the title track takes us to the edge with a ghostly black metal dirge-cum solo piano lullaby.
'River Without' opens the other side with visceral, opiating effect, coursing spine-freezing guitars thru lush ambient haze, where the flannel and denim dance-pop of 'Fall Off The Bed' finds them at their most contagious, beside the dread despondence of 'Patient Days' and the catchy hooks of 'Memory Loses Momentum', leaving us to curl into the sublime keys and poised shuffle of 'Night to Perish’, edging us from the bleak and into the sublime, pulling you deep into night...