Sado Rituals / Mass Grave – Sado Rituals / Mass Grave

Posted: 4 July 2021 in Albums
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Gates of Hypnos  – 4th July 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

This is a split release by, as the title suggests, Sado Rituals and Mass Grave, who each bring approximately twenty minutes of harsh noise wall to the dark, antisocial party.

Sado Rituals’ ‘Funeral Pile of the Nameless’ is a murky cloud of tearing, rumbling devastation.

As I listen, I contemplate whether they mean pile or pyre, but conclude it maters little, especially not least of all to the couple of hundred people who will even ever hear it. We’re in ultra-niche territory here, and no mistake. But it’s a niche filed with a truly hardcore following.

It’s deep, dark, dank, a rumbling morass of formless darkness that billows and rumbles, and over the course of its precise twenty minutes, it sucks the fucking soul from you as it churns away at the guts without shift and without mercy. It feels like standing beneath the rotors of a helicopter, or on the edge of a cyclone spiralling down and drawing all matter into the pits of hell, the sonic equivalent of a black hole. A vortex of bleakness, of dense matter without form. And then, bang on the twenty-minute marks, it stops.

As purveyors of self-labelled ‘blackened noise wall’, Mass Grave’s nineteen-minute gut churner sounds like the tail end of a piano being rolled down a flight of stairs, a rolling crash of dissonance. It’s even darker and dinger than Sado Rituals’ contribution, a low rumble reduced to a slow, low drone that gradually warps as it billows like smoke from a fire on a wrecker’s yard, all types burning and cars slowly melting in the suffocating black smog.

The lack of treble on these two pieces tempers the harshness, in many ways: it’s a real gut-rumbler but neither track feels particularly attacking or abrasive: it’s a noise wall, and no mistake, but one which is more designed to smoother and suffocate than penetrate the flesh and the psyche with its harsh intensity. It’s still punishing, and it’s still gnarly as fuck, and its power lies in just how oppressive, stifling, the two pieces are.

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