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Friday, January 17, 2014

Virile Games - Wounded Laurel

Hospital Productions return with their first release of the year, a heavy 30-minute session of layered drone and tormented, bass-heavy bombast from Max Gudmunson's Virile Games project, now available on vinyl for the first time after a sold-out micro edition of cassettes in 2013. Operating somewhere between his label-mate Lussuria's gothic ambience, the ear-bleaching concrète of Helm, and the more blown-out cinematic visions of Leyland Kirby, 'Wounded Laurel' oscillates between sublime and wretched with a gripping night-time narrative. Opener 'Death And Rebirth Of Adonis' sets the scene with a distant arrangement of what sounds like strings recorded straight to tape before the sodden expanse of rumbling bass and tangled percussion in 'Nailed To The Living Heart...' gives way to a metronomic series of heavy, rumbling bass-drops that recalls Pan Sonic at their heaviest - think of 1999's incredible 'Voima' for a reference point. 'Firmament' allows some light in with a beautiful passage of wilting strings, before 'Steel Church' brings to mind the fragmented percussive treatments of recent material by Nate Young. If any of those reference points tick the right boxes for you, we strongly recommend checking this excellent EP out. Stream > Here !

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