Natural Snow Buildings “Daughter of Darkness:” Part Three

We reach the halfway point of this titanic album in today’s post.  Cassette three of “Daughter of Darkness” is the darkest portion of this box encountered up to this point.  Unlike tapes one and two, tape three consists solely of two sprawling pieces, a trend that will continue for the remainder of “Daughter of Darkness.”

Much like the beginnings of cassette two, cassette three opens with a bleak movement.  “Santa Sangre Part I & II” makes heavy use of percussion and chanting.  This track feels like a continuation of cassette two’s “Slaves for the After Life,” which I noted as sounding like a celebratory piece of honoring the dead.  There are no traditional guitar breaks or soothing melodies to be found here.  Natural Snow Buildings let the fires of their festival rage on until the flames expire and the ashes smolder.  Extended passages of guitar squall and persistent chanting carry the track to its conclusion.

The transition is smooth into “A Thousand Demons Invocation.”  This murky psych-folk giant uses its explosive loops of intense guitar wail to summon the dead we spent the last few songs celebrating.  Spires of guitar noise burst upwards from the the ground like the dead ravenously clawing their way out of their dirt prisons.  Once the dead have reclaimed the world of the living, they march.  That familiar percussion begins to take hold, and the guitar tapestries return to a more uniform approach.  “A Thousand Demons Invocation” is largely a straight guitar drone piece, flush with undulating waves of distortion and feedback.  Another standout piece.

It’s remarkable that after hours of music, Natural Snow Buildings can still surprise in the confines of a single album.  Cassette three’s enveloping darkness and deep psych-drone exploration manage to grip the listener in a different manner than we have seen on previous tapes.  Ameziane and Gularte continue to trudge forward, challenging and surprising.  They have dropped us deep into an oppressive, moribund space– now we must see if they are willing to help us find salvation.

Part four will be coming soon.

Download “Daughter of Darkness” Cassette Three

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~ by theoberlander on April 3, 2009.

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