Saturday 18 May 2013

Sink - The Holy Testament - Review

Sink - The Holy Testament 2

Sink is a Drone/Black Metal band from Finland

The members are:

Saku Tamminen - Bass
Harri Talvenmäki - Drums
Teemu Huunonen - Guitars
Mauno Konkka - Guitars, Vocals
Henrik Wetterstrand - Samples, Keyboards
Aarno Kankaanpää - Vocals 
Sink - The Holy Testament - Review

Hailing from Finland, Sink unleash the second half of their mammoth recording 'The Holy Testament' via Svart Records. Their second full-length album release, The Holy Testament has been released in two separate parts, with the first emerging in 2011, and the second being released now, along with a double disc release housing both editions. It is this latter, double album release which best showcases the album's bleak and hopeless mood in all its sprawling glory.

'Mood' is the key word here. That, or perhaps 'atmosphere'. These are not songs which stand as independent compositions in their own right, but merely sections in one 83-minute slab of noise. The primary genre here is drone metal, but there are more than the occasional hints of atmospheric black metal, dark ambient and sludge, amongst others. These influences are all tied in and weaved together seamlessly, further adding to the feeling that one is listening to one particularly bleak and torturous soundscape, rather than a painstakingly sequenced collection of musical themes.

The lumberous atmosphere is very real and almost tangible, and runs throughout the entire opus, via a series of intensely psychedelic passages and industrial-tinged 'musique concrète' sections. It's in the oddly haunting intro track 'Into The Platinum Skies', leading into 'Ritual' and 'Ritual Transfigured', which opens with a distinctly Swans-esque atmosphere and laconic, Gregorian vocals, and climaxes in a hideous black metal cacophony. Later, 'Repulsion' is redolent of a supremely evil rendering of a section from Fripp & Eno's 'Evening Star' album. 'Into The Current' takes in Godflesh at their most claustrophobic, over a near-deafening backdrop of miscellaneous looped noise, while 'Dominion' provides a bitter and apocalyptic 16 minute climax to the album.

The Holy Testament is imbued with a heavy, all-enveloping atmosphere which is undeniable, particularly when heard in its full, double-disc form. The initial instalment of the album's release was effective enough, but when both discs are played back to back the assault is truly devastating. The mood is so constant that most of the pieces here do seem to merge together, but this is no bad thing; it just makes for a more coherent, and - ultimately - more effective listening experience. And, despite the bleak atmosphere, the music is actually very diverse, for those willing to listen close enough. This is not an easy listen, by any means, but it is a thoroughly rewarding one. 

Written by Matt Ford

Thanks fot Svart Records for sending a copy for us to review. Much apprecaited.

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