Friday, April 27, 2007

Hävok Ünit/andOceans/The Sin:Decay - Synaesthesia: The Requiem Reveries

Havök Ünit/andOceans/The Sin:Decay – Synaesthesia: The Requiem Reveries
(Vendlus Records)

This three-way split is a transitional release for andOceans, using this collaboration to bury their moniker and introduce themselves as the newly christened Havök Ünit. Also included are 3 tracks from The Sin:Decay, which is a side project of a member of the band.

The split begins with the first ever Havök Ünit song, entitled “With Discipline Upon Mankind” – a brief symphonic sample and grating white noise are suddenly crushed by a hyper-blast of brutal death metal. The guitars sag, grind, and shift - the notes seeming to vibrate through thick mud. The vocals actually remind me of a more maniacal David Yow, utilizing more of a howl than a scream or grunt. Effects, programmed electronics, and samples mix with the organic instruments throughout and assemble a truly interesting listen. The following two tracks are remixes of the same song, providing two very different perspectives on the music through a more industrial feel and then a drum and bass approach.

andOceans then drops their last song under the band’s name, “Yerushalayim Érez Haqodes.” For the most part, it’s a straightforward mid-tempo bomb of distortion with a blackened/punk overtone. There are industrial, atmospheric tinges that create great soundscapes behind the music and the vocals are like gruff battle commands (sans the Vocoder break towards the end). Again, the two tracks following are remixes of the song. The first of these remixes is an almost totally atmospheric version, embracing haunting and distant vocal sounds and droning low notes. The second remix is a minimalist, industrial overhaul of the original song with occasional breaks and driving beats.

The Sin:Decay ends this split with three tracks of melodic industrial metal with heavily distorted guitars, lots of synth textures, and elements that bring to mind Mortiis. It’s much more metal and interesting than the aforementioned artist, but definitely the low-point on this disc.

Overall, this split is a very interesting listen and is worth it alone for the Havök Ünit track and remixes, let alone the andOceans material. Good stuff!