Skullflower / Mastery | Skullflower / Mastery
SKULLFLOWER presents a trinity of sombre meditations evoking Europe after the rain, drowned ruins, sunken dreams: spiders run across harpsichords in deserted schlosses and chateaus, doors slam and phantom demon choirs are summoned at seances by Blatavskian crones, whose impenetrable china blue dolls eyes open onto Tibetan vistas, terrible, ancient and remote…
MASTERY is improvised one man cosm(ag)ick from Ephemeral Domignostika. Total berzerker black metal, rooted in the tradition of true grim blackness, but filtered through Mastery’s cracked perception, transforming this into something beyond true; a droned out and damaged, outsider blackness, that sounds pretty much unlike almost any other black metal.
Ltd x 500 copies.
Standard edition: 400 copies on purple vinyl.
Special edition: 100 hand-numbered copies on green vinyl through Cold Spring mailorder only! Deleted.
A1: Wolf Age (7:13)
A2: Red Crystal Serpent (7:50)
A3: Black Sunshine (9:15)
B1: Blood Electric (17:40)
Aquarius Records: “Holy shit is this an incredible match up. Legendary industrial/noise/power electronics/experimental guitar/drone outfit Skullflower teamed up with local gnarled avant headfuck sci-fi blast-buzz one man black metal horde Mastery for this super limited 12”, with each band delivering some of their best material yet. This is extremely limited too, once we run out, it might take us a while to get more, assuming we can even get more…
Skullflower’s Matthew Bower has made no secret of his love for / fascination with black metal, and it’s been seeping into the SF sound for a while now, but strangely, on a record where he’s paired with an actual black metal band, when you might expect Bower and Co. to deliver some kvlt black buzz grimnity, blasting and howling and hellish, this is something entirely different. While it is in fact blackened and buzzy, it’s much more atmospheric and droned out, weirdly hypnotic and majestic, keening arcs of blown out distortion, buried melodies, and lush crumbling textures, atmospheric, haunting and hypnotic and yeah heavy too, with a super intense in-the-red production, that gives the sound a feral ferocity, and makes every note feel on the verge of collapse, even though it’s all actually, in its own fractured and fucked up way, quite lovely.
Mastery of course is in his own gloriously demented and ultra damaged sound world, delivering the sort of lightning speed, dizzying blackened sonic fury that few others can touch, so much so, that we continue to wonder how this guy isn’t utterly worshipped by the grim hordes. Could be cuz it’s just too goddamn weird, cuz it really is. We’re talking far out freaky WTF beyond black metal outsider genius. The sound twisted and tangled, a buzzing blur, wild sonic smears constantly colliding, the vocals rasping and croaking over squalls of blacknoise, and impossibly furious riffing, not to mention inhuman drumming. The guitar playing in particular is totally next level avant insanity, Mick Barr better be looking over his shoulder, cuz at times this sounds like multiple Ocrilim records playing at the same time, all spinning at 78rpm. Beyond that there’s all kinds of weird noisiness too, industrial churn, wildly sputtering drum machines, total black metal bliss out head fuck radness. If you’ve yet to discover just how fucking mind blowing the music of Mastery is, here’s another chance…”
Rock-A-Rolla: “The subtle injection of warmth into Skullflower’s spew makes it mildly more hospitable than usual, and these three tracks replace the usual sensation of taking a chainsaw to the face with the slightly more palatable feeling of having one’s ears mercilessly blowtorched. At points it sounds like thousands of amateur guitarists practicing Slayer hooks within a din of factory noise, although identifying specific melodies or instruments within the clamour is made nigh on impossible by the sheer wealth of sound happening simultaneously. On the flipside, Mastery roll a blanket of blast-beats beneath the same sort of screaming, dislocated black metal guitars that churn up the brains of Deathspell Omega fans on a regular basis, matching Skullflower’s knack for blunting the senses through relentless sensory excess”.