Pestrepeller – “Isle of Dark Magick ” – [Important Records]
The third release from a collective that may be more famous individually as graphic artists than collectively as musical artists, this disc, dedicated to the fantasy and horror writers H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, as well as to the magician Austin Osman Spare, does not suffer from the artists’ other pursuits. This is a well crafted soundscape of harsh drones with disturbingly pleasant overtones. All the songs sound very deliberate, as if the artists deliberately intended to wedge a sonic crowbar into your brain and lean on it, slowly exposing your consciousness to daylight and your subconscious at the same time. Sonically, the phrase “dark squeal drone” will have to suffice, except for track 5, the only track with lyrics, which seems to be a gentle reminder not to take the CD too seriously. This disc is good medicine: it’s a little tough to swallow, but you’ll feel better for it. Brilliant and masterful.