Jun 2011 20

Cover Image
AUN / Habsyll
Category: Ambient / Noise
Album: Split
Stars: 3
Blurb: A split LP only works when both artists are of equal talent.


A split LP is a complicated thing to pull off. On a regular LP, an artist (that cares about what they produce, at least) has to make sure the music is exactly the way they want it to sound, make sure it’s mixed properly, and make sure that it puts across the exact mood intended. On a split LP, each artist has to do that and hope that the other artist doesn’t completely conflict with their own ideas. Such is the case with the AUN/Habsyll Split LP. AUN and Habsyll are two drone artists of decidedly French origin (AUN of Montreal, Habsyll directly from France), facing their work off on this disc. While this LP is not a versus album in name, one cannot help but compare the artists’ styles to each other.

AUN takes two of the three tracks on this LP, “Druids” and “FallOut.” In the end, drone/noise tends to fall into the realm of background music, though the question remains: is it GOOD background music? In AUN’s case, the answer is yes and very much so. AUN takes the genre in a smooth and moving direction, allowing the sound to build on itself through the full range of instruments available to the artists. Members Martin Dumais and Julie Leblanc are highly skilled and talented individuals that can truly work their sound. “Druids” is looming and progressive while “FallOut” is choppy with solid pacing and a good groove behind it. AUN is the type of artist that could be played behind a social gathering and be truly enjoyed, either directly or peripherally. AUN is certainly worth the listen and the pursuit of further works.

In contrast, Habsyll seemingly lacks the talent that AUN possesses. While Habsyll only takes one of the three tracks on the LP, “IV” is longer than both of AUN’s pieces together and nowhere near as enjoyable, with an extremely slow build to it that can be described closest as trudging, if not bumbling. The tribal drums incorporated by Habsyll seem out of place in the mix of growling open chords. Eventually (and the word eventually is stressed here) the trio bring in an attempt at some black metal-esque vocals, which sound utterly silly and akin to a mix of vomiting coupled with poor impersonations of demons. For less than a minute, Habsyll inserts an explosive break of some true metal instrumentals – frankly, it would have been better if they’d stuck with it for the rest of the track rather than revert back to the same tired cliché. Habsyll is not scary, not engaging, and not talented.

Two artists go in, only one can emerge the stronger. As it sits, the impressiveness of AUN keeps this LP afloat from the incredible sinking of Habsyll. Let this be a lesson to AUN: when you’re that good, you don’t need to couple yourself with less talented acts.
Track list:

  1. AUN – Druids
  2. AUN – FallOut
  3. Habsyll – IV

Habsyll MySpace http://www.myspace.com/habsyll
Public Guilt
Purchase at:
Amazon Vinyl
Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)

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