After two rotten (in the best possible sense) demos, Ireland’s enigmatic Doomsters WRECK OF THE HESPERUS have ventured into full length territory, shitting and pissing all over it as they’ve done everywhere else.
“The Sunken Threshold” continues the shift away from utilising Stoner and traditional Doom riffs in their Sludge, as evidenced on “Eulogy For The Sewer Dwellers.” That is not to say the Stoner element has been removed, rather that the effect has been achieved through the intimidating repetition of much more brutal, evil and ultimately vomit inducing riffs borrowed from the AUTOPSY riff-book and rendered in a slothful, snail-like pace. If you can imagine the sheer dirt of AUTOPSY, struggling to be played through water or sinking ever deeper into quicksand, resisting but tiring against the sonic torment - you have been lulled into a false sense of security. The reality of this mammoth masterpiece is much, much more frightening.
The first, last and only complaint - and even this isn’t much of one - is the production. Not that it is bad, indeed it is far from it, but that the demos were actually better. The feel of being caked it excrement and filth is still there, yet the sacrifice of volume has left it a little less oppressive. Still, I cannot as yet decide if the result is any less, for the brute force of the riffs have taken a subtle, more menacing and devious approach to corrupting your conscious thought.
For newcomers to the bands’ sound, and most of you will be as this is their first album proper, this is Funeral Doom at its very dirtiest. Take away any preconceived comparisons with SKEPTICISM, THERGOTHON or NORTT, for this is nothing similar. Not depressive, just frightening with a barrage of low-end Sludge that incorporates the Death Metal of AUTOPSY with elements of NEUROSIS and SUNN O))). Unusual for the genre, the percussion is perhaps the most important instrument, taking the lead for long passages with its tremendously dynamic and varied presentation. Coupled with the hypnotic guitars and subtly varied bass, this helps to induce an effective delirium caused by the thoughtful and brilliant disparity. The incorporation of silence, minor electronic interludes and samples only heightens the evocative experience.
It has been a long time since I’ve heard something so disgusting. This is the sonic embodiment of filth itself. “The Sunken Threshold” is pure ‘refuse, slime, filth, putrescence, rubbish and muck’ the closing sample bellows as your finger edges closer to the play button once more. A glutton for punishment? Perhaps, but there is a sickening pleasure to such torment.
(Online December 20, 2006)