TenHornedBeast - _Woe to You O Earth and Sea_
(Nothingness Records, 2005)
by: Andreas Marouchos (7 out of 10)
What with the recent Sunn O))) outbreak or the generally intriguing (yet simple) musical approach, drone has lately found itself enjoying a flurry of underground bands carrying that certain 'amplifier abuse' style. TenHornedBeast is a one-man band hailing from the North-East flanks of England. The man behind the beast is Christopher Walton, who also takes part in Endvra, a dark ambient / drone project stylistically akin to his current musical endeavors.

The constituent elements of this particular band's sound are simple: thick, morose chord progressions often interweaved with an excess amount of distorted guitar feedback which, more often than not, stray far from any sort of translucent song structures. Welcome to a musical world of sheer resonance. While the unaided listener might interpret the whole album as simply a means to test one's amplifier endurance, it is still, for the initiated, an audial ritual of eerie ambience and imposing soundscapes. TenHornedBeast in reality are testing our auditory resilience here, but in an interesting and yet uncomplicated manner.

The six songs present on this album soothingly fade into each other; playfully dawdling on heavily distorted, minimalistic and strenuously slow guitar passages which then segue into brooding ambience and vice versa. Rhythm retreats into subtlety; it simply doesn't belong here. They are essentially aiming for a certain sensory transparency, where the music itself simply becomes a vector for the listener to reach a, let's say, more elevated spiritual level. One could arguably say that drone provides a limited spectrum for experimentation, but nonetheless TenHornedBeast are perhaps one of the few bands proudly standing on the drone precipice before banality inevitably befalls the genre.

Contact: chris@secretum.fsnet.co.uk

(article published 24/10/2005)


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