Sunday 26 October 2014

Nauseahtake - Laws of Multiversal Gravitation (Album Review)

Album Type:  Full Length
Date Released: 1/9/2014
Label: Self Release

‘Laws of Multiversal Gravitation’ DD/LP track listing:

1). The Crust (25:09)
2). Nautilus/Artifact (12:40)
3). Flooding Iguanas/Waters (24:07)

The Band:

Bass | Nemo
Drums | Elder
Guitar | Tedo
Synth | Djox

Didgeridoo - Dennis Baranic

Vocals | Nemo, Elder, Tedo, Djox
Vocals [Dreamy Lead & Backing Vocals] | Anna Rose Swinkels
Voice [Spoken Word on The Crust] | S G Collins
Voice [Spoken Word on Flooding Iguanas] |  Djox


The didgeridoo is entirely underutilized in the realm of doom. Such drone! That sound bedding down with the intense and Evil Dead-esque spoken word bit of the intro to ‘The Crust’ (courtesy of SG Collins) sets the tone for a lush and foreboding soup of post-whatever ambient sludge. 20+ minute songs that spread more into several movements rather than single pieces. These aren't slow despite what the length may imply. They have dynamics, at times even approaching athleticism. Dense and expansive by turns, crushing and enveloping, but lacks….something?!!.

If it feels at times as if you've heard it all before, a component of their sound is absolutely derivative of the pillars of the genre, the Isis/Neurosis/Cult of Luna’s. To their credit, however, there is a width(? is maybe the right word?) to their aura, a want to stretch -beyond- that seems counterpoint to some of the occasional obsessive introversion of many typical shoe gazing post-metal and sludge bands. Themes of hallucinatory ocean life, prehistoric drift and vastness, overtake and encompass the several shifts of feel and timbre of the music and hold together the strands of noise, ambient, drone, synth-powered electronics, and even the rare moments of straight up rock swirling around this 3 track 60 minute opus. The final five minutes of ‘The Crust’ would hold up well as a song on its own, shovelling up a load of grim subdued blasting before sliding into a healthy stomping doom riff with a miles-long fade-out into a unique, noisy, tribal twitch and glitch ending.

‘Nautilus/Artifact’ is a bit more succinct, starting off with an obligatory quiet opening before the post-metal riffing takes off, laying the groundwork for the "winding visions, affirmation, spiraling forth" from the lyrics. A grimy, murky audio experience set to a pushing, moving energy that propels it out of the dimly-lit basement and onto a wave tossed ship under slate-grey skies. The drumming on this tune is kinetic and grows increasingly so as it crashes into a climactic point where the heaviness drops off. We are left with a solitary emotive guitar and pressure-building synth waves building to a satisfactorily heavy outro. A moving watery lead makes the last minute the highlight of the album for me.

The final track, titled ‘Flooding Iguanas/Waters’ takes a long time to build up past the intro, and meanders through 7 minutes of mediocre tuneage before finally dropping the hammer and bashing out an ode to the Swans for a minute or so. "I don't want to be here" yelled repetitively until the undeniable height of their melodic grooving hits and disappears before you even get a chance to enjoy it! It quickly moves past into a tense noise-rock burst of weirdness that takes over and kills any hope of bobbing your head until out of nowhere a light hypnotic dirge suddenly brings the feeling back. Echoing the end of ‘Nautilus/Artifact’, an incredibly long fadeout to ambience leads to more minimalist art/space-rock moments. These last few minutes are a lovely wind-down from the spastic moments of the core of the song until resurgence grows, crashes, and returns to the wind-down.

This band has a wealth of ideas and execution, but too many pieces feel underwhelming when compared to the genius of other sections. A growing away from the overused tropes of the genres represented and into something more…alien, more massive. More trance-inducing…I think would really set these dudes apart from the crowd. So much potential. Bonus points for a totally slick website and the video to follow, a live recording of the band "narrating" Haxän with their music.

Words by: James Harris

Laws of Multiversal Gravitation is streaming and downloadable free on with an impressive bit of heavy vinyl for sale as well.

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