CVLT Nation Streaming
“Vastness And The Inverse”

Record Label: Translinguistic Other

Music that conveys a sense of ordeal has always appealed to me. It’s not like I don’t love a quick verse/chorus/verse ditty from time to time, but the sense of bleakness, of foreboding that some artists carry in their work flicks a switch in my head that most other music doesn’t. A sense of scale, a sense that as listener your full attention is necessary to get the most out of the music – this is what draws me in with bands I listen to most. Always has done. Right now seems to be a good time for bands operating in slightly left of centre, more esoteric song forms like this – witness the cinematic grandeur of Locrian for example, the dusky canyon rock of Horseback, or the beautiful and eerie power of Pink and Black. A STORY OF RATS without doubt deserve to be included amongst that small list of genre-bending artists on this new record.
[audio:http://www.cvltnation.com/wp-content/audio/Her Teeth are Nil.mp3,http://www.cvltnation.com/wp-content/audio/Huldrefolk.mp3|titles=ASOR – Her Teeth are Nil,ASPR – Huldrefolk]

A STORY OF RATS deposit you in a cavernous, labyrinthine landscape which they lead you through with torchbearing hands over the course of two long pieces: “Her Teeth Are Nil” and “Hudrefolk”. Working with synth, vocals and drums primarily, the trio create so much with so little.There’s a mastery of atmosphere on this album. Not simply a case of a bunch of reverb being smacked on to make things sound “epic”, it’s the melancholic chords, sombre pacing. “Her Teeth..” moves from a simple,ominous drum beat into a chasm of drone that builds to an almost unbearable climax before a more traditional band section marches off into the night in the latter section. “Hudrefolk” takes a haunting chord progression and runs with it , while sparse, garbled vocals cry out in the back ground. The songs don’t end. They ebb away.

Photo: Alan Hunter

ASOR is the brainchild of Garek J. Druss, whose involvement in other projects such as Tecumseh, Dull Knife and occasionally even Atriarch suggests to me (from the unfortunately small amount of it I’ve encountered) an artist with a refined, personal vision in his work. Although no two sound the same, the feeling of dark expanse at work in any I’ve heard is obvious, and as I slowly connect the dots between them it’s fascinating to map out the arc this man is taking us on. It would be remiss of course to single him out entirely – Andrew Crawshaw’s percussion is tasteful yet strong and drives the songs at steady albeit funerary pace.

Music to stick on headphones and embrace as a storm brews outside your window. A strangely soothing form of darkness lurks throughout “Vastness And The Inverse”, its’ drones and tones are hard to resist.

A Story of Rats will touring the West Coast this March with Of The Wand And The Moon (Denmark) & Kind Dude (Seattle).

Tues 3/26 – Seattle, WA – The Comet
Wed 3/27 – Portland, OR – Miss Studios
Fri 3/29 – San Francisco, CA -The Chapel
Sat 3/30 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst Atrium
Sun 3/31 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
Mon 4/1 – San Diego – The Casbah
Wed 4/3 – Sacramento, CA – TBA

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The Author



Jamie Grimes lives in Dublin, Ireland with his daughter, ladyfriend, and a cat who may or may not be the reincarnation of Vincent Price. When not watching trashy horror films and overcaffeinating himself he makes music both on his own and with other people, he occasionally maintains a blog and hosts podcasts at http://destroyedhuman.blogspot.com

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