Nyogtha - _Origin of "I"_
(Independent, 2011)
by: Dan Lake (5 out of 10)
Yanking all percussion from metal is a risky business, though it should be said that, where tempo is concerned, none is more extreme than 0 bpm. Once drums are gone-zo, a guitarist is free to fill all than unused space with mondo layers of rumbling distortion, and we all know where this leads: the kind of glacial minimalism that Sunn O))) detractors have forever cited for ignoring the subgenre altogether. Champions of the slow-and-low have a growing arsenal of strong recordings to bolster their argument, but even they might want to duck defending _The Origin of "I"_.

The ungainly tonnage of Nyogtha's third record yields bare ounces of revelation alongside slagheaps of wasted promise. "Turns to Dust..." and "The Third Eye" idle in drone saturation and despondent female chanting, recalling the shamanic conjuring of Bloody Panda. "Feedback From the Human Void" spews blackened, deeply reverbed screams of dire anguish, summoning images of infected souls careening through the abandoned halls of a labyrinthine hospital. Half-hour closer "The Birth of Consciousness" reprises earlier ideas to diminishing effect. Tracks occasionally end in curiously Merzbowlian fashion, which is to say that they don't finish so much as get snapped off clean, scarring the pieces' undulating logic with fresh breaks.

_The Origin of "I"_ is not ungood. Seductive textures worm through the drones, and note combinations pulse color through the gloom. The meditative ego-dissolution vibe threading through the work declares its unambiguous mission, and Nyogtha seem to have delivered on their intentions. Illicit substances may react with _The Origin of "I"_ to spark a throbbing excursion into the universe. As a journey in itself, though, the album takes 70 minutes to deposit you a couple feet from your own front door, and you gaze around bewildered because you could have walked that far in way less time.

Contact: http://nyogtha.bandcamp.com/

(article published 15/7/2012)


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