This release is a retrospective and present compilation all of Unearthly Trance‘s unreleased seven inch splits and ten inch vinyl EP’s since their first release on Southern Lord in 2001, beginning with the most current and working it’s way back.
It is so good to hear the progression of their sound. They have always had those monster elongated builds they gained a reputation for. However here you hear the continued development towards a more advanced state in their sound forged by time. Ouroboros was put together very well and holds a continuous stream considering the changes in their sound since they began. The title Ouroboros symbolizes rebirth, a constant cycle of life feeding itself. I think it is an apt metaphor for the album, as you can see this throughout the music and lyrics.
At times it’s pandemonium, however always reconstructing itself back to that dark atmospheric flow. Here is the ecstatic appreciation of despair and misanthropy. There are at times components throughout of whispering echos, Kayako Saeki-type croaking and guttural hostile sounds faded in from behind the foreground of dysphoria.
Lyrically, it is the state of despair of industry and nature elementals encroaching. An almost misanthropic theology.
The Globalist tighten their chokehold
Produces a prayer to mother earth
Maximum genocide approaches
No choice in the matter to take the dive
It’s all coming down
Prepare for the worst
Their music builds much like the darkness of nature, where it has an eerie calm before a storm. ‘Oceans Downfall‘ is intense, with continuous changes throughout. Moving in a constant snarling direction, it projects, screeches and evolves. All with that consent sense of foreboding. ‘Blind Driving Through The Ghost Mountains‘ goes shifting through a tense atmosphere of decline and decay. Searching and shouting for salvation throughout. There is a ringing of disquiet colliding with screeching guitars sounding like birds getting caught on a wire and cawing for help, followed by what sounds like ancient verse or prayer. This the ongoing cycle of life through a backdrop of a wall of noise. There is no formulaic construct to this music, there is always something different every time.
Label: Throne Records
I love the cover versions on the second disc. Their version of Roky Erickson’s ‘Night Of The Vampire’ is transformed into an even more dark and dense affair. There are also great renditions of Born Against’s ‘The Nail That Sticks Up Gets Hammered Down’ and Black Flag’s ‘In My Head’. Followed by an eerie calmness for their version of Charles Manson’s ‘People Say I’m No Good’. Charles Manson, of course, also touched on the similar ecological thought of the mismanagement of the world’s resources as well as fire and brimstone.
Unearthly Trance have such a depth and heaviness to their sound that maybe only bands like Neurosis have previously achieved. So many other bands try, but here it comes very naturally, with constant growth and dynamics within their music.