Sunday, April 15, 2012

Whitehorse- Progression

The main reason for writing about Whitehorse is that they do not get enough recognition among the sludge/doom fans despite being continuously putting out quality materials. Last year's LP Progression simply flew under the radar of every year end lists. Either we forgot about Whitehorse or several line up changes might be a factor. Anyhow the way Whitehorse is evolving, they are bound to move the crowd sooner than later. After releasing some live records since the inception, the self titled debut release knocked a few punch. Starting from drone/death to funeral doom to sludge to noise, Whitehorse incorporated everything and that too with some dignity. The follow up LP Progression although shorter than what you'd expect doesn't disappoint a bit. It's downright heavy, crushing and dirty.

Pete described that some fans who were not entirely familiar with Whitehorse looked genuinely terrified at a show when the opening track Mechanical Disintegration was played and unearthly demonic vocals had been unleashed in the middle/last segment. It's that horrifying. The noise effect has been controlled with great impact throughout the track. The title track Progression starts off with a bass section and heavily down-tuned funeral doom chord progression takes an unexpected doom laden death turn. You won't be able to restrain from headbanging along with gnarly riffing and Craig Pillard era Incantation vocal summoning with a tempo down. The guitar tone is unbelievably swamp drudg-y. Give the track Remains Unknown a bit of time as it slowly builds up. The sound texture underneath resembles spacey/ verby tone. The middle section gives a kind of feeling as if the earth has been destroyed and only fossils and cremated human embers lying on the ground and buried. The shattering of dying hellion around dismantling atmosphere adds tension to the air. Then silence; tribal drum beats confirm the dissipating ritual process. The track Control, Annihilate delves into a sluggish aura of raw vulgarity and acts as a perfect bridging between Remains Unknown and Time Worn Regression. The hellion rises again to dry out any bit of earthly being and mutilate it. Time Worn Regression is a percussive noise generator and complements the variations of intense scorching throat radiation throughout.

The noise texture plays an important role for doom/death sound that Whitehorse is trying to achieve. It's not there just for the sake of it. Progression is the perfect name for the album although you might complain about the album art which looks a bit like clip art image but it's misleading. The album gives a perfect launching opportunity for Whitehorse. It looks like they are willing to experiment and provide a different dimension with a modern approach which is fresh and filthy at the same time.

Currently the vinyl version of Progression is available via At A Loss Records.

Whitehorse official site
Whitehorse facebook page

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