Fear Falls Burning: Frenzy of the Absolute
Conspiracy Records

Following upon previous Conspiracy Records collaboration releases with Nadja and Birchville Cat Motel, Frenzy of the Absolute is the latest Fear Falls Burning opus by Dirk Serries. The new work comes in two versions: a seventy-nine-minute two-album set and a fifty-four-minute CD version that omits the vinyl's “The Passage of Wrath.” With a single piece allocated to each album side, the metal drones swell into pitch-black nightscapes whose details fill in slowly. The opening title cut is dominated in its early going by Switchblade drummer Tim Bertilsson's ritualistic flourishes with Serries' shuddering drones working up a simmer alongside. After eleven minutes, the drums drop out, ceding the stage entirely to the guitarist's metallic washes which slowly expand in size and turn increasingly distorted and charred. Adding to the dense totality are Dave Vanderplas's bowed cymbals and percussion (on “He Contemplates the Sign” and “The Passage of Wrath”) and Johannes Persson's looped electric guitar playing. The glassy scrape of the bowed cymbals definitely intensifies the nightmarish ambiance of the second track and complements the murky drift of the guitar sludge. Drummer Magnus Lindberg (Cult of Luna) adds primitive plod to the third piece “We Took the Deafening Murmur Down” which finds Serries streaming molten chords over a slow-burning mass of psychedelic haze. Call me perverse but I would have liked the CD to include “The Passage of Wrath” too, given that the sum-total of the four parts wouldn't have exceeded the format's limit.

May 2008