There’s something in the recording studio with 11Paranoias, and it ain’t no man.
To fully experience such an aural atrocity is to journey with this empirical trio down into their jam room amidst some hellish cosmic vortex, where total immersion into the unfathomable darkness is mandatory. Crawling out of the sludge pit frequented by fellow doom-lords Ramesses and Bong, the band drench themselves in Black Sabbath’s 1970 drug-addled legacy before crafting new levels of multi-coloured depravity within the gloom, adding in a heavy Loop influence for good measure.
Following on from the vast wall of crushing atmosphere that was 2013 debut release Superunnatural, 11Paranoias‘ reverberated psychedelic doomscape is the sound of a band who have made deals with entities best left un-dealt with, trading any and all musical barriers for a large quantity of boundary-dissolving substances and one of those books whose pages should never be read.
Spectralbeastiaries feels like a continuation of the band’s expedition into the unknown; into the swiftly-approaching blackness that beckons with silent-yet-alluring persuasion. The cover image, similar to the one that adorns the previous EP, depicts an impossible beast – a grisly collage of disembodied endoskeletons that personifies the music here so perfectly. Cygnus Rift enters and immediately envelops all with a menacing riff, catalysed by a wall of reverberated sub-basement terror. The Ghost Projector arrives laced with a healthy dose of post-punk and occult voyeurism, and the only thing preventing the music from becoming utterly lost in the cosmos is the very real sense that it was recorded in a pitch black basement in the 1970s.
Like a tenfold collective amplification of Ramesses and Loop, everything here is intensified – the scuzzed-out fuzz, the stripped-back approach to the songwriting, and the shimmering reverb that all but abandons the last remnants of the real world entirely. As the Unseen Apparition finally manifests itself, the candles abruptly flicker out of existence and all light is extinguished for good. This is no hellish Lovecraftian allegory; the horror within is far too tangible to be an avocation of mere fiction. The very realness of 11Paranoias’ darkness does them so much more justice, having created a sound that can only have been conceived through devouring former band members and excreting them out into a volcano. Rules and boundaries are dumped unceremoniously at the door, yet the band’s vision glistens distinctly amongst the multi-coloured fog. Sludge-ridden doom this depraved is not for the faint-hearted, and we can but hope that what is conjured up during these rituals remains within those four walls.