Trees – Freed Of This Flesh   Leave a comment

The ever mysterious Trees from Portland, Oregon are back with their second release on Crucial Blast Records with music as barren as their Myspace page (the only Trees site I know of). This is the follow up to 2008’s “Light’s Bane” EP and again its another 30 minutes of tortured, minimal and unseemly Doom/Drone/Ambient Metal that is so hideous and ugly to the ears. If you have never heard them, their repulsive dirge ranges from slow to even slower tempo’s that at times seems to stop all together. Everything is drawn out for maximum impact, not only the riffs themselves but even the vocals and drums are isolated to painful levels of ear-splitting agony. If you have no patience then this isn’t the band for you as the music seems to want to let loose but it never does, rather it keeps you in a state of tension.

First track titled “Ashes” is painfully slow and with blackened ambiance especially from the vocals that range from the guttural to demented shrieks of torture. The gloom never lifts and never shows any signs of breaking into anything remotely traditional in the usual Doom Metal mold, it is bleakness at its most ugly and depressing. The other track called “Hollow” is even more grim, the first 7-8 minutes is nothing but a extended chord repeated to death and when you finally get to anything resembling a change in structure, its so subtle and minimalist, its barely noticeable. The sound is a mass of crushing heaviness, screeching feedback and atmospheric drones that are ponderous to the extreme. There is honestly not much to talk about here apart from what I have already said but I do think the total lack of dynamics and sonic range is their strong-point. Each track has plenty of space to build in atmosphere and aggression, and while the band are incredibly slow and bleak, they are also very precise in what they do.

Drums burst out at precisely the right moment for maximum effect, tortured guitars are only matched by even more tortured vocals and the overall vibe is very unsettling. Who knows what type of listener this kind of music is meant for but its certainly not for the traditional listener. Even fans of Khanate and Burning Witch will be taken back by the overall bleakness of “Freed Of This Flesh”. This is floundering dirge, ugly and awkward but also very atmospheric. 7.5/10

Trees Myspace
Crucial Blast Records – CD

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Posted August 24, 2010 by doommantia in Trees

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