Sunday, January 08, 2006

Too bad this was an April Fools' joke

Welcome To The Washboard Jungle (Hydra Head) cd 13.98

It was only a matter of time. There's been rap metal, and there's been funk metal, but as far as we know, nobody has combined black metal and dub, at least in a way that was at all palatable (we're definitely not counting the Bill Laswell produced Cradle Of Filth remix record or that abominable Tolkien-dub Prince Far Isengard record from a few years back). But now we've got the brilliantly monickered Black Ark Oaken Saw, a grim troupe of ganja smoking, washboard stroking, corpse painted Dandys in tight trousers. Huge swaths of murky buzzsaw guitars, howled demonic David Lee Roth-like vocals, wrapped in loads of reverb and delay, but instead of blast beats, or precise triggered drums, the dark abyss is framed by spare super blissed out, dubbed out echoplexed dub rhythms, snares crack and then repeat endlessly into the blackened void, while shrieks are snipped mid phrase and then recycled into haunting otherworldy echoes of blackened dub. Weird weird weird, it seems like this sort of thing wouldn't work at all, but surprisingly it's an absolutely perfect fit. Imagine Emperor with Sly and Robbie occupying the rhythm section or Lee Perry fronting Lugubrum. And we can't forget the un-named frontman who indeed plays the amplified washboard, but it too is run through a bank of effects and emerges a totally dubbed out barely recognizable version of itself. Hopefully, Hydra Head's interest in the fringes of black metal will continue to unearth more unholy treasures like the mighty Black Ark Oaken Saw!



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