Friday 13 October 2017

REVIEW: Bloodmoon & Trapped Within Burning Machinery - "Split"

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Split
Date Released: 01/10/2017
Label: Midnite Collective |
Black Voodoo Records

“Bloodmoon | Trapped Within Burning Machinery” CD//CS//DD//LP track listing:

1. Bloodmoon, "Nothing is Special, Nobody Cares"
2. Trapped Within Burning Machinery, "Abysswalker"

The Review:

Literally hundreds of seven-inch singles come out every month. Extreme music acts in particular are quite prolific at this. So, why should another disc create any ripple at all?

In the doom landscape, Bloodmoon and Trapped Within Burning Machinery are perhaps two of the most emerging bands to enter the scene. In the case of Bloodmoon, whose doom metal is blended with some progressive and black metal influences, and Trapped Within Burning Machinery, they of doom with flashes of atmospheric metal and funeral doom, their sounds are rather divergent from one another yet oddly aligned in many respects. Both groups have received much praise for their work. It stands to reason that a double-barrel split like this – with the crews doing 11- and 17-minute cuts respectively – may keep expectant fans happy for the moment, if not hyped for future output.

When Bloodmoon debuted a few years ago with the divine “Orenda”, the California group received a lot of attention for its superlative progressive metal. It only ripened with 2013's “Voidbound”, soaking far deeper into the well of doom metal for music you do not hear every day. On the new split, Bloodmoon re-ups that doom faithfulness, along with paying homage to its progressive pedigree. “Nothing Is Special, Nobody Cares” is through this lens a strong return. Its pessimistic theme masks an optimistic one: that Bloodmoon is committed not to fame, but to doing the best music possible on its own terms. That idea is articulated often by bands, but you feel it here. You catch a more liberated group that delivers a song with its best musicianship yet. The production is well mixed, the guitars are technical without being mathcore-ish, and the rhythm section here provides a rich soundscape.

As you can guess, Trapped Within Burning Machinery has a high bar to reach. Fortunately enough, the group, known for its big concept recordings – 2015's “The Filth Element” was a tale based on the film, after all – is up for the challenge.

The California act's song, “Abysswalker,” offers more concept. It is based on the video game series Dark Souls. If you have never played the Dark Souls franchise, it is a fantasy in which the protagonist is, in so many words, a zombie cursed to resurrect again and again. An abysswalker are those who wield a special ability to walk into a plane of existence most cannot. The Abyss is occupied by darkwraiths, whose harness the Dark Soul within humanity. It is a gigantic theme for a song, just as is the Dark Souls universe.

If you are familiar with the Dark Souls mythology, it is a plus. However, the music is dazzlingly sharp all by itself. The guitars are immense. The vocals are monstrous, summoning imagery of darkwraiths and fearsomeness. Trapped Within Burning Machinery has long been a group that fully commits to a concept, like an esteemed actor throws her- or himself into a role. You get that turned up to 10 on "Abysswalker." The mood is dank with solitude. With the final notes, it is like you are pulled into the Abyss itself.

“Bloodmoon | Trapped Within Burning Machineryis available here (CD//CS) and here (vinyl)

Band info: twbm || bloodmoon