Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

TenHornedBeast/Marzurann - split CD

A curious split release from London's Aurora Borealis label bringing together TenHornedBeast and Marzuraan. 'The Law of the Needle' features more masterful droning from Christopher Walton's post-Endura project TenHornedBeast. Last year's release on Cold Spring, The Sacred Truth, was an impressively heavy and dark release of doom droning and once again TenHornedBeast prove their worth with subtle movements of layered drone, continuously arching and evolving, with sounds tapering off. At points there's moments of buzzing drone, washes of feedback and occassionally teased and stretched bursts of guitar feedback. The entire piece, running at a hefty 28 minutes, conjures up images of rugged mountains, underground caves and icy terrain, where slight tectonic shifts appear to unleash howls from the cracked earth. In the way Sigur Ros tracks are pulled out by television producers as a soundtrack to accompany the wonders of nature, TenHornedBeast illustrate the dank, dark and downright dangerous. Harrowing unease and staggering stuff.

Marzuraan opt for doom sonics on 'Into Countless Battles' with some buzzy guitar riffing, sturdy bass and ample drum clatter. Despite its length it doesn't stray too far from a rock structure. Its busy guitar buzz providing some metalesque blissed out guitar patterns, while hazy melodic vocals seems to point to a similar direction as Jesu. In fact, the entire track hints at that doom shoegazing thing, which, for me, is no bad thing really.

Aside from these two outfits being based in the north of England there's very little similarity between. Still it's a worthwhile release, especially the TenHornedBeast track, and housed in a lovely three-panel fold out packaging with cut-out symbols. For more information go to