I do love a good split album. Here we have two bands from Poland, Gurthang and Beyond Life. Both bands started as one man projects, but both have expanded since their inceptions. But for Gurthang’s contribution, these tracks date from 2013 and were created by the bands founder, A.Z.V.
All 3 Gurthang tracks dwell somewhere very dark. They are unbelievably claustrophobic in nature and I don’t think there’s a single chink of light to be found. Where would I place these musically? Probably somewhere around Depressive Industrial, if there is such a genre. And you can throw in a bit of blackened Death Metal for the 2nd track, Arise.
If Gurthang were a colour, they’d be pitch fucking black.
Can Beyond Life offer up anything happier? Let’s find out….
I should have read the track listing before making my last comment, as we open with Psychopath’s Mind and man, this is getting heavier and darker by the minute. It’s a haunting instrumental that would be the perfect soundtrack for the computer game Doom….
The mood indeed does get darker with Beyond Life. They offer up a mix of Dark Ambient, and basically a soundtrack of your nightmares. There’s no traditional structure to the songs. No verse, chorus, verse bullshit. This is a freeform creation of spoken word passages, creepy sounds and pure darkness in musical form. It’s only the last track, Driven By Melancholy, that offers any semblance of light on this wonderfully depressing release.
This is a very impressive split and it’s done enough to make me want to explore both bands back catalogues. Let the madness begin.
- Gurthang – Illuminate
- Gurthang – Arise
- Gurthang – LCVI
- Beyond Life – Psychopath’s Mind
- Beyond Life – Heavy Rain
- Beyond Life – The Burial Rite
- Beyond Life – Driven By Melancholy