Thursday, June 21, 2007
Black Boned Angel - Eternal Hunger
Suffering from Sunn O))) burnout, yet still want to get your darkened drone fix? Black Boned Angel might be right up your alley. Granted, the differences between the two are not that extreme, yet there are a few aspects of Black Boned Angel's sound that differentiate it from various other acts of a similar nature (for better or for worse). Although the curious and newly initiated might be better off exploring their LP "Supereclipse" first (as it is obviously a longer and somewhat more diverse excursion than many of their EPs), Eternal Hunger is in itself quite interesting. Sunn O))) and Khanate fans will instantly recognize the overall chord structure and song progression; much like Douglas Pierce and his infinitely repeated favorite guitar strum, they manage to find an infinite variety of ways in which to diversify from a limited palette.
But I digress. While the slow motion drone is present here, it does go through a rather lethargic chordal progression. The overall feeling is one of unease, specifically that which can be found in a semi-decent to good horror film (preferably a somewhat dated one). This mood is enhanced by a rather nervous keyboard line and strategically placed drum sets. It builds and develops for around ten minutes, and slowly begins it's climax and descent around twelve minutes as the keyboards and drum hits slowly increase in density and dramatic impact.
However, there is a sudden twist at the end (those who wish to keep the suspenseful surprise for themselves may wish to skip to the next paragraph): after roughly thirteen minutes, the music suddenly cuts out only to be replaced by a ominous church/cathedral bell and sub-sonic bass reverberations! Suddenly, the experience seems to come into place: The mourners and graveyard attendants had been throwing dirt on your coffin, despite your muffled screams and fevered attempts to unlock the entrapment you had somehow become ensnared in. Now, the church bells toll prophetically, as the grave has been refilled. You have been "Entombed Alive".
Unfortunately, beyond the dramatic ending (which comes dangerously close to being filler on the fact that it is just a tiny bit too long, although still very effective), this material is not that outspoken or outstanding compared to the many other acts like them. They are often used in comparison with other bands (in particular, I have often seen them lumped together with Bohren Un Der Club Of Gore, though I'm not familiar with them myself). One of the reasons why Sunn O))) (and Earth, for that matter) are still relevant and discussed widely is that, though achieving a great amount of popularity through their initial recordings, they eventually expanded their artistic vision and implemented it in new and exciting directions. Those who follow in their footsteps, regardless of how skilled or talented they are, always run the risk of contributing to the stagnation of a continually evolving musical sub-genre.
I am interested in people's opinions on this, so if you have anything to contribute to the continuing discussion, I am always happy to hear your thoughts! Also, good luck finding the majority of his work! (As is usual for smaller "underground" phenomena, most of their CD-Rs are extremely limited, with many of his releases being 150 copies or less pressed).
EDIT: Recently found a kick ass Black Boned Angel live vid. on YouTube, so I included it here.
Official Page (links to associated record labels and Myspace)