Trepaneringsritualen - Perfection & Permanence - Cold Spring


Trepaneringsritualen - Perfection & Permanence - Cold Spring - Review

Trepaneringsritualen is Thomas Martin Ekelund, the mastermind behind other superb acts such as Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words and Nullvoid. This Swedish artist has been really prolific for the last few years. Not only did Thomas release albums and EPs with Harsh Head Rituals, Small Doses or Malignant Records, but has become popular so far due to his intense and harsh live performances as well. In fact, his gigs are closer to black rituals than to standard concerts. “Perfection & Permanence” is the name of his latest work to date, a magnificent and highly evocative 10-track LP put out by Cold Spring.

Influenced, in his own words, by Zero Karma, Current 93, Brighter Death Now or Psychic TV, in “Perfection & Permanence” Trepaneringsritualen manages to create deep obscure atmospheres by combining death industrial and dark ambient in equal measure. In fact, Ekelund builds his offering on black-metal lyrics, heavy slow-pace rhythms and noise. His music explores subjects of religion, magic and occultism, and invites listeners to take his hand to a realm where time and space melt in the aggressiveness and grimness of his overwhelming sound. The opening piece, which is entitled “Venerated & Despised”, could suggest that the album would be a calm low-frequency one, but nothing could be further from the truth. Just a few seconds into “A Black Egg” would be sufficient to find out that psychoactive violence will be the hallmark of the other nine tracks. Some of them, like “39 Lashes” or “A Ceaseless Howling” are beautifully shapeless and abstract, closer to noisy dark ambient compositions. In contrast, the growing intensity in “Castrate Christ” or “Alone/A/Cross/Abyss” makes this LP even more emotional and breathtaking. Finally, “He Who Is My Mirror”, which may be the most brutal and death industrial per se, is the perfect ending for this terrific and terrifying album.

Literally, “trepaneringsritualen” means the ritual of trepanning, i.e. a surgical intervention where a hole is drilled into a human skull. Well, conceptually that explains all. Thomas Ekelund is capable of creating tremendously violent and obscure sounds without speeding up, just by constantly deforming his guttural echoed voice, by using distorted immersive loops and by mixing those with fat slow industrial rhythms. In a time when religion — yes, and capitalism — seems to be the root of all evil, maybe “Perfection & Permanence” is the ideal album to give a listen to.

Links: website - facebook - bandcamp

About Author

Armando Valdés, the man behind Secret Thirteen album reviews, is a translator, music journalist and a member of noise-ambient + spoken word band “Granny On Donkey”.

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