Pentemple CD/LP reviewed by Luc Rodgers

Music Reviews
Pentemple CD/LP reviewed by Luc Rodgers
Aug 12, 2008, 04:43

Pentemple - 0))) Presents


What do you get when you mix sunn O))) and Tasmania's manic black metaller Striborg (aka Sin Nanna)? Pentemple. Not so funny? Neither is this.

This live recording of the two-show-career Pentemple delivers everything one would expect from a Greg Anderson/Stephen O'Malley project: full-frontal dread and anguish disguised as a “ritual” of sorts and an exploitation of the far reaches of volume and thunder. The two songs nestled inside are slow elevations, deep canyons, and frightening moods catered to those that seek the darkest thing imaginable. Striborg brings to the formula a sickness and stench unheard on other O))) releases. As the drums maddeningly pounce behind the curtain of amps the dread usually felt is escalated to a feeling of urgency and finish. Everything is, obviously, improvised, but sounds none the more than anything in the O))) catalog prior; These guys are friends for a reason and it becomes evident as they gloomily stampede through “Pazuzu I” and “Pazuzu II.”

While drums are not completely foreign to the O)))s (Japan's Boris held hands with them for the Altar release only just a year ago), it has never delved this deep. Cradling the chaos is Striborg's menacing scream/groan, an alarming morning jolt that reminds the listener that, “…today is the day that everything might change…” Improvisation, especially pulled off with such tact and patience, is the key to the terrifying uncertainty that, in fact, we know nothing, humans, critics, and musicians alike. Something will always happen and chances are that something will be completely out of our control. What it comes down to is communication, instinct, and execution. Listen and learn.

While not a defining moment for doom metal in itself, O))) Presents is not to be overlooked. The chaos is somehow defined and let loose, pushing the invisible boundaries into a never-ending amalgam of composure, rigidity, and brotherhood in a place where none of these should exist in the first place. [Southern Lord]

-Luc Rodgers


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