ALUK TODOLO  Ordre  10" VINYL   (Ajna Offensive)   14.98

The latest slab of charred, blackened psych from France's mysterious Aluk Todolo comes via the fine Ajna Offensive imprint, and it's a superb new dose of their intense occult-fueled hypno rock. Well, not quite new...this long track, here split into to halves across the two sides of the record, was actually recorded several years ago, back around the same time that they were recording their excellent debut album Descension, but was never made available until now. If you're a fan of that album, this delivers the same corrosive black pulse, with deceptively simple drumming locking into a heavy trance-state as the band pushes through hideous tar-pit bass throb and caustic guitar noise that undergoes a series of transformations over the course of the record.

The record begins with the band fading in gradually, the scrape and huzz of the guitars drifting in over a rickety quasi-break beat. The guitars and feedback swirl with other, less identifiable noises, bits of industrial scrape and broken-down crackle, and there seem to be strings or keyboards or something along those lines droning and drifting over it all. The sound is abrasive and creepy but also quite hypnotic, the shambling rhythm resembling something from Scorn as it lopes through the shifting clouds of sonic detritus and metallic creak. As this goes on, the different noisy elements move around, allowing bits of head-nodding throb to peer through all of the murkiness, and there are some vocals that take form at different points, a deep growl that intones strange mangled incantations within the caustic, chaotic noise. This all burns off about halfway through the side, and changes into a slightly more controlled dirge. The drums are still shuffling and clanking along, but the noisy elements are replaced by a searing distorted noise that is looped over and over, until the band once again shifts gears at the end and lurches into an aggressive mid-tempo krautrock groove. Heavy throbbing bass and sheets of guitar skree and pounding motorik drums guide the song into it's final minutes.

The second side is much more threatening and assaultive; as soon as it begins, the band is locked into a grinding, off-time almost tribal workout, the over-modulated bass rumbling and buzzing around the feedback howl and scrape of the guitar, taking shape as an industrialized trance-rock workout. The sound here at first seems to feel much less hypnotic, and instead unleashes an ever-changing, always shifting cloud of metallic buzz and grinding noise and far-off clang over and around the hammer-clang rhythm of the band. It's as malevolent sounding as anything that these guys have put on record in the past, and as it goes on, it does begin to reveal a murderous trance-like quality, still very rooted in a classic psychedelic krautrock influence but taking that sound and blowing it out into a blackened, heavily distorted, thoroughly evil sound of it's own. At the end of the b-side, Aluk Todolo once more transforms the song, this last time into a slow, warbling dronescape filled with echoing guitar chords buzzing and drifting through billowing feedback and washes of murky guitar noise while a single bass drum pounds away slowly in the background.

Like all of their other releases, this comes bound in strange occult-influenced artwork, and is pressed on thick black vinyl.