Wreck of the Hesperus – Light Rotting Out …   1 comment

I’ve been a fan of Ireland’s ‘Wreck of the Hesperus’ brand of funeral dirge since I first heard their 2006 opus ‘The Sunken Threshold’ and while their output since has been a little disappointing, I am glad to say they are back, sicker but more sophisticated and atmospheric than they have ever been before. This album comes in an interesting package; it is presented in A5-cardboard sleeve containing 3 beautiful graphic art cards that represent each track on the album. The only words I can think of to describe ‘Light Rotting Out’ is otherworldly and surreal. They still sound like a very pissed-off Thergothon or a doomed-out Burzum or Darkthrone but this album unleashes a complex array of emotions through blackened ambiance and raw, sludgy doom that is thicker than molasses syrup.

What makes Wreck of the Hesperus a unique band in the doom scene it is what they don’t do and don’t play that makes them great. Their silences, pauses, starts and stops really makes this album the engaging, tormented experience that it is. The music keeps you guessing and keeps you on the edge of insanity for all of its 40 minutes. Starting with ‘Kill Monument’ the band stumbles along like a wounded mammoth, lurching with ominous mutated notes and eerie rhythms. They have an industrial, ambient edge but there is also hints of free-form jazz and even cinematic soundtrack music but mostly this is raw, filthy funeral sludge that is ugly, angry and monotonous but it still keeps my attention despite is repetitive bleakness.

Throughout the opening track then ‘Cess Pit People’ and the two-part ‘Holy Rheum’ sounds, noises, chants and strange instrumentation appear and constantly interrupt the flow but it mostly all works in adding to the horrific atmosphere of impending gloom. The only mis-step is some sax parts which sound a little out-of-place but apart from that, the arrangements are as mesmerizing and interesting as they are disturbing. Of course there is monster riffs of doom but the real outstanding element here is the drumming which is simply incredible. It is rare to have a band playing tempos at about the speed of a slug but still have a busy drummer in the band but that is the case with Wreck of the Hesperus’s Ray Keenaghan, this guy is always doing something behind the kit whether it be interesting drum patterns ( that have more in common with jazz than doom-metal ) or just intriguing cymbal work.

This album wont be for everyone of course, it is a harrowing extreme album with extremely long extended pieces. ‘Holy Rheum’ drags on for 22 minutes of morose-doom for example so if you like tunes that are straight to the point, you might want to bypass this album. However, being the sick puppy that I am and having a taste for de-structured, ambient doom, I have to say I am quite taken with ‘Light Rotting Out.’ In the world of funeral-doom, this is really about as ambitious as it gets. The style is not renown for being adventurous but Wreck of the Hesperus are really stretching themselves on this album while still maintaining the funeral-doom traditions. If you are a fan of the aural slime then the quality and atmosphere of ‘Light Rotting Out’ should satisfy……8.5/10

Wreck of the Hesperus @ Myspace

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Posted July 1, 2011 by doommantia in Wreck of the Hesperus

One response to “Wreck of the Hesperus – Light Rotting Out …

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  1. Great review thatt totally gets the point. For name dropping reasons: Albert Witchfnder contributes with guest vocals at the end of Holy Rheum.
    Light Rotting out on a gatefold LP with 4 colored inner sleeve the next 2-3 weeks on http://www.streaksrecords.de

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