originally written by ZD Smith
Wow. When I started out with this record—out of order, I should note, with track 2, “Memory Leak”—I immediately readied myself for a pretty good if not entirely remarkable Dronedoom album. It’s not necessarily hard to make 40 or 60 minutes of droning static and feedback, if you’ve got the patience, and I’m the kind of guy who would even enjoy that sort of thing. So I pleasantly went about my business and let the drones and distant drum machines work their way through, somewhere in the back of my head. And then this happened. Somewhere out of the noise and groans snuck this beautiful, broken music.
At first listen (again note that my first listen was in the middle; ask not why but that’s just how it is) I was struck by the textures of the record; that track starts out after a second of hum with the full cortège of funeral/drone doom elements; low groans, reverbed drums, heavy, heavy distorted guitars and bass, distortion, distortion. I also noticed that the approach was more upfront than, say, Sunn0))) (come on! More than 150 words before I mentioned them!), and felt in some way more metal and abrasive, not as meditative or stoic. Your first listen, unless you proceed in the manner that I did, will be more subtle; track 1 of 3, “Bug – Golem”, begins with a clean repeating guitar line and proceeds from there, saturating and piling on basses and guitars and keyboards until, once again, without your noticing something beautiful has happened.
What I am reminded of is William Basinski‘s Disintegration Loops, which are certainly not metal, but do give the same sense of obscured and damaged beauty; you do not know whether the tune is disappearing under a colossal weight of static and distortion, or whether it is emerging, and it hovers and flits over the threshold of perception.
I don’t know if it matters that Truth Becomes Death is, still, “more metal” than some other Dronedoom records I could think of. It is; there are drums, like I said, and there are riffs, even, and sometimes it sounds like it might be a really slow Jesu song. But let’s be serious. This is out there; one must be prepared and willing to take it on. If you can keep your twitchy ADD fingers still for more than 3 minutes (ok, more like 15) then you will be rewarded with an album that combines weight and beauty and omnipresent fuzz into a lovely package.