Black Earth

Album Title: 
Gnarled Ritual Of Self Annihilation
Release Date: 
Friday, September 27, 2019
Review Type: 

Galician trio Black Earth are ‘begotten in chaos and speaking an abject language that hides the secrets of the great truth beyond the lies of the material world. Beyond the present, beyond the past. Feasting the survival of the old knowledge beyond history and the putrid path of mankind. Riding the tiger along Kali Yuga.’ It’s a mystic and mysterious introduction, offering bleak and ritualistic visions (haha, ‘visions’ and Cyclic Law in one sentence; what a coincidence) on mankind and its many imperfections and demerits.

Black Earth canalise their negative viewpoint via sonic sources; a ritual that started with 2015’s A Cryptic Howl Of Morbid Truth (this recording was, FYI, re-released in 2018 via one of their current labels, Sentient Ruin Laboratories). 2016 saw the release of the grandiose follow-up, the Diagrams Of A Hidden Order EP (via Black Plagve Productions, a division of Malignant Records).

Gnarled Ritual Of Self Annihilation is the second full length recording, and the third effort, released via a majestic partnership in between Sentient Ruin Laboratories and Cyclic Law. It is not the first collaboration in between these two (excellent) labels, cf. their mutual release Sepulchral Blessings by Clavicvla (in case of interest, you can find the link for the review on that recording below). Besides the digitally downloadable opportunity, this material was pressed on compact disc too, in an edition of 500 copies (four-panel digi-sleeve, via Cyclic Law), as well as on vinyl, being 100 copies on splatter vinyl, and 200 ones on ‘regular’ black vinyl (both of them via the two labels involved).

This new recording consists of seven rituals, clocking three quarters of an hour. This three-men army continues their, well, for myself I did label both former releases as ‘Morbid Black Ambient Noise Drone Death Industrial’ in my personal files. And I do not think it would be an inferior description of this newest effort once again.

Actually, this recording is a malformed collage of mystic rituals, droning noises, blackened electronics and industrialised ambience. Down-tuned basses, wretched voices, militant drum patterns, electronic grooves, dissonant noises and diabolical samples are all mingled, all canalised into a frenzy whirlwind of eclectic and eccentric sonic madness, an apocalyptic expression of horrifying and vexed possession. The whole of the time, this sound-collage evolves, changes, fades, explodes and materializes over and over again, never surrendering, permanently destructing any possible moment of rest.

Sound-wise too, this experience is like a chaotic, perverted, delusive aural mayhem, constructed and destructed through electronic devices, hallucinosis synth-rape, asphyxiating atmospheres, wretched voices (whispering, evocative, blackened and usurping), ritualistic drones and post-dimensional noises. I honour the variation, the constant evolution and permanent evolvement, with purely oppressive doomed moments (Lurking Hounds Stagger In The Deep is a fabulous example of ultimately hypnotic disarray), apocalyptic outbursts, droning excerpts of brain-penetrating ambience and – well, what would you think of some symbiosis of Funeral Of God, Alkerdeel, Khost, Abruptum, Clavicvla, Sunn O))), Gnaw Their Tongues, Goatpsalm, Abjection Ritual, Nihill and Ancient Moon (amongst others)… I know, it is just a direction, not a comparison, but you’ll get the acid / venomous clue, don’t you?