Skullflower – The Darkness of Aegypt III: Ophidian Vibrations

5 out of 5

Label: Nashazphone

Produced by: Skullflower (?)

Heavy-duty beauty from Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies. Guitars and guitars and guitars are listed as our instruments; our duo noise it up accordingly in this third ‘Darkness of Aegypt’ entry, tapering the Skullflower cacophony into something more blissed out and glittering. Opener HRIM is the most drone thing I’ve heard from Bower in a while: 15 minutes of waves of shimmer, which might be tiresome but for two factors: the layers of sound are overwhelmingly immersive, juggling a patience with their volume; and the track is just long enough. Right when we’ve probably been taken on the full trip, it breaks, and transitions to the jangly psych of KRIM, which further balances the opener by being a pretty brief cut – 6 minutes. The set concludes with the eipc HUM, working a (relatively) quiet rumble of sound for the opening of its 15-minutes, then kicking into kickass overdrive for its conclusion.

A very album-y album for Skullflower, with clear divides and a logical sense of progression between tracks, using repetition and open tones to craft something a bit calmer and brighter than usual, building to wondrous effect over its runtime.