Merdarahta – As the Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See the Sunset

Winter, enough with your frost-bitten black metal. We’ve been hanging out since the fall, but it’s time for some sun. Thankfully, a bit of that desired heat comes from this collaboration between members of Fuck the Facts and The Sun Through a Telescope. Starting at a whisper and building to an earth-swallowing roar before resting in peace, As the Dark Clouds… is a summer storm of an album: short, furious, and encompassing.

As the Dark Clouds… is hardly anything as a collection of songs. It barely clocks in at half an hour, and there are a fair number of cold static-scapes acting as bookends and interludes. Instead of planned songs with starts and stops, think of the album as a long jaunt, first loathsome then hopeful, through the contributors’ particular neuroses. The creep of rusted electronics with faintly-discernible whispers of hell give way to crushing chords and punishing, hypnotic grinders that have glacial weight.

Harsh bursts of deathly noise ride Mel Mongeon’s always-distinctive screams and howls until the fury lessens and we’re left with echoes of notes and one of her voice, softly. Finally a vitriolic and inventive low end pushes that tired ‘force of nature’ metaphor close to truth by having the drums at the forefront urgently pushing this sludge towards the visible horizon. Any harshness is only temporary – like those dark clouds, the music soon passes on to the next movement, until the final denouement eases into summer twilight. Heartfelt and heartrending, As the Clouds… is a short auditory trip through madness that arrives, weary, safe, and best of all, warm.

Justin blames Blackwater Park for getting him into this mess.