Monday, January 9, 2012

Servile Sect Double Review


In case you couldn't tell by my various Servile Sect reviews, and Cathasaigh's inclusion of TRVTH in his favorite records of 2011 (in hindsight, it should have been in mine, too), we here at The Inarguable are big supporters of cross-country duo Luke Krnkr and Nhate Clmnt. Recently we've gotten our hands on two massive Servile Sect-related releases, and instead of clogging your news feed with a gazillion new posts, I'm doing another double review, because in this economy we need to conserve what we can. Right? Right.

Servile Sect - "Realms of the Queen (LP Release)" (2011) [King of the Monsters]
As I'm sure most of you have gathered, I normally don't review re-issues. Maybe it's the constant flow of new stuff, or maybe it's that the material had already been reviewed, but, either way, I'll admire the new artwork, nod, smile, and move on. HOWEVER, when I opened the LP mailer sent by KOTM's Mike Genz, I let out an audible "whoa." There was a TON of work put into this, whether it be the "no-wave record found in my older brother's closet" artwork done by website favorite Kevin Gan Yuen or the clear/glow in the dark splatter vinyl.

Before TRVTH was released, Realms of the Queen was my absolute favorite Servile Sect album. Unlike TRVTH, Realms of the Queen is a much more homogenized recording, bombarding the listener with a simultaneous assault of strange psychedelia and raw, mid-paced black metal. Slowed down, sluggish drum machines, extraterrestrial synthesizers, blistering guitars, inhuman vocals: this is still the Servile Sect you know and love, though maybe a little weirder. If you can get your hands on one of the 214 (weird number) copies, available at the King of the Monsters webstore, be sure to listen to it in the dark, and never, ever let your gaze leave your turntable. What an experience.

Sadness Saturn/Golden Raven - "Split" (2011) [Handmade Birds Records]
For a band as enigmatic and strange as Servile Sect, it is extraordinarily interesting to see its individual parts at work. When he's not collaborating with fellow experimental artist Joshua Convey in ITHI (who have a new album coming out soon), Luke passes the time with his own "psychedelic alien black metal band" Sadness Saturn, whose She demo and split with Utarm receive constant play in my basement, and, when not jamming with Ash Borer, Nhate conjures intergalactic demons with his trippy noise/drone solo project Golden Raven.

Opening up the split, Sadness Saturn's take on black metal is a tasteful mix of tradition and extraterrestrial meditations. Opening up with the slow-paced weirdo black metal "Impermanence in Chains," what was once structured suddenly breaks down into engine noises, electronic beats, and discomfort in "The River of Self-Destruction." Although raw, these two tracks still carry the round, aged sound of previous Sadness Saturn efforts, if not a little clearer overall.

The four tracks on Golden Raven's side took a little more digesting to get used to. The sounds found here, though melodious and "pretty" in a weird sense, are a representation of the immensity of space and subsequent insignificance of human life. Somewhere between drone, noise, ambient, and field recordings from the "Aliens" set, Golden Raven's bizarre soundscapes are the perfect companion to Sadness Saturn's harsher, metallic offerings.

This split tape is Servile Sect dissected in some lab beneath Area 51. Each half's space obsession is wholly apparent, though what Luke and Nhate bring to the table is that much clearer, revealing a hint of method to Servile Sect's madness. Only 100 of these cassettes were pressed, so be sure to pick up a copy while you still can. SVRRENDER, Servile Sect's companion piece and answer to their monumental TRVTH will be unveiled soon.


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