Mors Sonat: Comforts in Atrocity

Crucial Blast rarely, and we mean rarely, releases anything that isn't good.  Plus, he's like a one-man machine that combines several genres into his label, not to mention having one of the best mail order catalogs in the world with stuff from pretty much everywhere.  One of his fortes is noise, and though we had to sadly give him a negative review a few months or so ago (not reposting to safe face), pulling this one out, expected the best, and got the best.  With The Blast, and noise, all is usually good.  There was very little work involved in this being the best.  No suitcase noise here, no pedal-stomping, tap-dancing pedal board bullshit.  This is noise as it should be, loud, confrontational, but yet purposefully constructed, and not purely noise.  The randomness of noise, few people see to realize, is present within the sounds themselves, there is little need to use them in completely chaotic fashion.  That's just noise then, not the genre, just noise, and it's irritating.  It's irritating beyond belief.  Mors Sonat is something of a combo group, featuring the work of Australian noise legend Nekrasov, as well as the layering genius of Maurice De Jong, who's done work with Aderlating and Gnaw Their Tongues.  Knowing readily what both of these men are capable of, the possible combination of their abilities was either going to be mind-blowing or was doomed to failure from the beginning.  Sorry for the doom and gloom, but let's face it, when two great minds meet, it's oftentimes just a mess of ideas that never want to meld because neither person is willing to give any leeway to the other.  Here, however, our minds were so blown we have no clever analogy to make at the moment.
  

Comforts in Atrocity comes packaged in typical Crucial Blast fashion.  Dude always seems to like to put some thought into his artistic presentations, that or the bands that do it always seem to have something in mind that fits the general format of most releases of this label.  This one comes in a sleek digipak with abstract artwork, a black/white/gray color field that kind of has this Suprematism thing going on there.  Whatever your take on it, you look at it, and you say, yes, likely noise.  The noise here, though, isn't going to be what you'd expect if you know the work of these two.  Perhaps you anticipated some sort of ambient black metal of sorts with superfluous static added for "effect," something in that regard.  That's most certainly not what you're going to find.  Rather, this album is like two opposing poles constantly battling for the middle, occasionally getting close enough to meet, but then pulling away again to exist in separation.  There's noise, to be sure, but there's black ambient textures at the other end with haunting vocals, classical instrumentation, lots of cool stuff like that.  The noise is more in the vein of snowfields, meaning, as we define it around here, textured, carefully patterned static.  It's not static for the sake of staticness, it's static with careful arrangement, a feat which is about as easy to accomplish as adding brown sugar to your sugar.  Imagine taking each grain and carefully arranged them so the pattern present in the pile was uniform, and this is what happens.  It's that intricate.

 

Comforts in Atrocity opens with rattling, clacking, bone-like sounds, leading into sweeping ambient strings, creaking, swells of depressing classicism, and a bass line chugging out the heartbeat to the work as the strings build momentum.  Once the eerie singing catches up and sweeps around the room in the opener, "Holy Holy Holy Nil," "holy holy holy shit" is your only possible reaction.  Surprisingly it leads slowly into dreadful rumbles of noise, but the beautiful thing here is it's done so naturally you don't even notice the static rumbling has taken control until it's well on its way.  That's what one calls seamless.  And get this, that's only one of the six beast tracks, each of which goes the distance in this lengthy album.  You get ambience with bells, whispers in the void, electronic pulses, yeah, all of that.  But what's especially unique to a release of this type is you're never once going to be able to fully determine for yourself whether what you're listening to is one musician or the other, it's simply perfect on its own grounding.  Crucial Blast yet again proves Adam knows exactly what to look for in the best and most extreme of the underground, we can always open one of his packages with a smile and am embarrassing rise in our pants.  This was unexpected in greatness, though, for reasons already stated here.  Simply put, these two need to keep it up and never let this project fall to the wayside, as so many fated side-projects are want to do.

 

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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Mors Sonat: Comforts in Atrocity
Crucial Blast
5 / 5