Oct 2013 24

Dead Man's Hill vs. The Earth King - Cycling Between Sun and MoonDead Man’s Hill vs. The Earth King
Category: Black Metal / Experimental / Industrial
Album: Cycling Between Sun and Moon
Stars: 1.5
Blurb: The sporadic moments of clarity and eeriness are, unfortunately, no match for this collaboration’s tediousness.


Evoking climatic deus ex machina-inspired horror film imagery throughout, Dead Man’s Hill and his brother band The Earth King interweave black metal and industrial influences amid gloomy apocalyptic atmospheres in this first venture together with Cycling Between Sun and Moon. Surely enough, patrons of Dead Man’s Hill’s aesthetic won’t notice much of a drastic divergence – escalating synths, deep reverberating percussion, dramatic organs, cryptic chants, impending and distressed crashes are still present. What makes this release peculiar is the utilization of the deepest tier of Tuvan throat singing, known as Kargyraa, which regrettably struggles to be symbiotic; the technique only prolongs and makes almost every track, which are already horribly long and hard to distinguish, that much more exhausting.

“House of Shadow” teases listeners with soft, piccolo-like swirls and steam machine hisses, escalating to deep gothic organs and rapid pounding that sadly foretells the range and lack of diversity in most of the remaining songs. The medieval mentality is rather pervasive and greatly conveyed in “Autumn Temple” with choked vocals resonating off derelict catacomb walls, arcane pleas, and steady guitar quivers. While “Entering the Black Hole of Infinity” shows promise towards the end with looming clinks and haunting resurrection chants, it’s honestly not appealing enough to make up for the nearly seven minutes it takes to get there; much like the rest of the album, a payoff for lasting appeal is few and far between. Latter tracks like “Doodstrotseerder” and “Cycling Between Sun and Moon” offer more of the same linear haunted house-esque background type of tempos, but “The End of Salve Mater” creates a very claustrophobic, imminent demise ambience that is a step above in its more notable stages that perhaps should have been explored more.

It’s no surprise as to what both acts are striving for with their otherworldly and deliberate ritualistic clatters that seem to cater to a certain demographic, but there’s a limit before the music drowns out and becomes one collective entity. While devoted pursuers of black metal may find some saving grace in Cycling Between Sun and Moon, the utter lack of anything memorable and the amalgamation of tiresome vocals and repetitive song structures make that notion seem like an arduous feat.
Track list:

  1. House of Shadows
  2. Autumn Temple
  3. Entering the Black Hole of Infinity
  4. Doodstrotseerder
  5. The End of Salve Matter
  6. Cycling Between Sun and Moon

Dead Man’s Hill Website http://www.bugscrawlingoutofpeople.com/deadmanshill
Dead Man’s Hill Facebook https://www.facebook.com/deadmanshill
Dead Man’s Hill SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/dead-mans-hill
The Earth King Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Earth-King/211106825600229
Kristallblut Records Website http://www.kristallblutrecords.com
Kristallblut Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kristallblutrecords
Bugs Crawling Out of People Website http://www.bugscrawlingoutofpeople.com
Bugs Crawling Out of People MySpace https://myspace.com/bugscrawlingoutofpeople
Bugs Crawling Out of People Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bugscrawlingoutofpeople
Bugs Crawling Out of People Twitter https://twitter.com/bugscrawling
Zachary Locke (ZLocke)

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