Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tentacle - Ingot Eye (album review)

"Been working on vocals this week. Threw up in my mouth a bit doing one track. I was yelling pretty hard though I guess. Hopefully we'll be able to hear it in the recording."
Though this, Tentacle's second release, contains but four tracks, at 39 minutes in length there's nothing else to call it but an album.  Last year's 'Void Abyss' EP totaled five songs (CD version contained a bonus track) and clocked in at 32 minutes.  'Ingot Eye's offerings are far weightier.  Less droney, more psychedelic, busier, more venomous than before.

Opening attack "The Blackness of My Soul Will Be So Great as to Make the Night Weep" is as long and epic as its title.  At 11 and a half minutes it's a monster which screams of unspeakable things, but to be honest, the time just flies by while listening to it.  The compositions may be longer here but they are more substantial, not only in length but in content.  Where 'Void Abyss' droned, 'Ingot Eye' quakes, cracks and shucks its bonds.  Each of these songs could easily reach into the twenty minute mark without losing the listener's attention.  "The Blackness of My Soul ..." is an epic struggle between a reluctant hero and a shambling dweller in shadows that "will make the night weep".  If you've ever read an H.P. Lovecraft story, then I think you can imagine how the struggle ends.

I won't be the first listener or reviewer to hear the distinctly Lovecraftian tone of the affair, not only in the lyrics, to which the band has done an amazing job of emulating the great New Englander's authorial voice but also in the demonic / aquatic background noises which swim all around the tracks in an unseen dimension that only the most tragic of figures would dare explore.

"Dull Ache", at five minutes, is the shortest number on the album by far.  It's psychedelic guitar echo picks up masses of momentum during the drop outs to turn a slow, lumbering song into one made up of atomic blast winds in the same way that lead is transmuted into gold.  "(Revenge) Dust For Blood" growls with the anger of the forgotten dead to awaken the Elder Gods.  This song is probably closer in spirit and nature to the 'Void Abyss' material, though it's longer.  No stone is left unturned on this album, no grave unspoilt, no gateway untampered.  It really sounds and feels as though they went all out on this one.

Final track "Our Serpent Mother's Kiss" has a classic doomy riff, an organic extension of one the band has used before in "Alone In My Grave" with almost the exact same turn around in the riff.  There's nothing wrong with a band recycling its old material, because it creates a thematic thread throughout their works.

Tentacle's second effort is a haunting affair, a journey through strange eons and weirder dimensions fraught with unspeakable perils, unnamable dread and unpronouncible beings.  It's a step up from 'Void Abyss' with all the stops pulled out and no chance of survival.  Truly doomed music.

Highlights include: "Our Serpent Mother's Kiss" and "The Blackness of My Soul Will Be So Great as to Make the Night Weep"

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Run Time: 39:01

From: Boston, Massachusetts

Genre: Doom, Sludge

Reminds me of: From Beyond (film), Ice Dragon, H.P. Lovecraft

Release Date: February 12, 2013

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: How ignorant is man, with all his scientific understanding, that he should conjure his own demise simply by listening to 'Ingot Eye'?

Better Reviews:
Heavy Planet
Temple of Perdition

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