Black Depths Grey Waves

Album Title: 
Nightmare Of The Blackened Heart
Release Date: 
Monday, September 8, 2014
Review Type: 

UK-based label is quite an ‘old’ label, yet pretty modest in releases. There was some material during the nineties, followed by a period of relative silence, yet the label continued releasing new stuff as from half of last decade again, though still limited in number.

I will write several reviews from new and some older releases, since Stu Gregg did send us several of Aesthetic Death things. This review deals with the American duo Black Depths Grey Waves, consisting of two experienced musicians: Clint Listing (formerly or currently also in e.g. Long Winter’s Stare, When Joy Becomes Sadness or As All Die, and performing under his own name too, often in collaboration with other artists) and Saint Ov Gravediggers (think Ordo Tyrannis or Grim Pig). Clint, by the way, also owns the Absolute Zero Media company (they will start a new label / division, if I’m not mistaken), on which roster both former Black Depths Grey Waves albums have been released (the self-titled one in 2009, and Tumor Throne in 2010).

This third album, Nightmare Of The Blackened Heart, comes with very nice artwork: sober yet pretty dark, following the less-is-more principle. It consists of three lengthy compositions, which have a total running time of almost forty five minutes.

The opener, called The Hunt For Greater Truth (with its twenty two minutes the longest piece on this album), starts within the Harsh Noise / Noise Wall trend, with distorted static and dissonance as expression of sonic pleasure. After about three minutes, the atmosphere turns somewhat darker and more horrific, and as from minute-five, there are some haunting, quasi-occult voices, drenching the whole experience into a truly asphyxiating experience. Somewhat later, there are some first hints of semi-melodious synths, and more types of vocal grimness blacken the whole journey (a morbid descent into the Underworld, evidently…). For the better part, 3rd Candle For The Fallen goes on in a comparable sphere. However, this piece is less Harsh Noise-oriented, yet slightly more Black ambient-influenced, and at least twice as mysterious. This piece, lasting for almost seventeen minutes, breaths a sulfuric stench, like being a psychotic soundtrack-in-the-head during an evil ritual. Here too minimalism and distortion create a droning sound that suffocates and mesmerizes. The repetitive approach does not bother once again, partially thanks to the vocal addition too, of course. The final piece, Final Key To Pure Thought, is the shortest one (5:39), combining reversed anti-musical ‘melodies’ with ominous vocal excerpts. It’s a nightmarish soundtrack, at the same time raping and satisfying (wo)man’s brain.

For fans of, let’s say, Melek-Tha, MZ.412, Skullflower, Profane Grace, Valefor, Khost or Oskryf!