Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Horders / The Way to Light split review

The Way to Light and Horders have recently teamed up on a split cassette tape released on Die Song. Both belong to the ambient/noise genre spectrums, but are certainly quite different in terms of sound. While Horders tend to produce more abrasive sounding tracks, The Way to Light tends to create more atmospheric pieces. 
Horders play five new tracks on this split, and they are really something quite different to their earlier work. For a noise/instrumental project that may seem like a hard thing to do, but they have certainly tried to push the limits and explore some new territories this time round. It is almost hard for me to explain exactly what is different, it really needs to be heard to be understood.
The first track, "No Hope" follows an ominous distorted acoustic riff that really captures the name of the track, and is filled with the usual samples and abrasive reverb I've come to associate with Horders. "Desert Glass" starts in a completely different direction, with a minute of building distortion that builds into an enormous wall of sound that bursts through your ear drums. In a way it is horrible to listen to, but yet in another strange way I keep going back to listen to it over and over again. Once the wall is finally broken down there is another solemn riff surrounded by samples of machine guns and other unearthly noises.
Where this side gets particularly interesting for me is the last track "Erase the Slate". While Horders has definitely had samples of spoken words in previous tracks, this is the first I am aware of to feature actual lyrics. Of course they are wickedly distorted, but they work on top of the acoustic guitar perfectly and without careful listening sound just like another layer of twisted noise samples.

As I had thought, the TWTL is entirely different to the Horders side. All of the abrasiveness has been stripped back and replaced with intense drawn out drones. Everything about these tracks is very soft, yet somehow very dark. It makes me feel like I am hearing the sounds from a very long distance, as if I have travelled away from the source to a place inside my own mind.
The first track, "Aghartha" starts with roughly three and a half minutes of drones and hints of an array of sounds that create such an immense atmosphere. A quiet acoustic riff then makes it's way through all the layers of sound and is eventually accompanied by a whisper of spoken vocals. "Worthless Crown" starts with a slow, heavy drum beat that is at the start a part of some distant noises which eventually fades into the abyss. A slow tune creeps it's way back into the air, and by the three minute mark starts some acoutisc guitar and vocals that would not be out of place on a Roses Never Fade record (no surprises there really).

A small promotional video was also made for the release, and all of the tracks are now streaming online. TWTL even has it's first full-length album on the horizon, again thanks to Die Song.

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