Colossloth – “Heathen Needles” Album Review (noise/drone)

Heathen Needles

Was that a scream underneath the noise or is the artist just that bloody good to manipulate noise well enough to emulate the sound?

Noise is the dominant theme for the week and we start off with something extraordinary; the new release from Colossloth, Heathen Needles on Cold Spring Records.

From Cold Spring Records:

“Colossloth has been heralded as ‘the best of the new wave of British Drone’ with influences coming from various sources including nature and Wicca. Colossloth utilities a healthy mixture of sounds and techniques ranging from Dark Ambient to Grindcore guitars and elements of IDM to create a very unique sound.”

It didn’t take long at all for this reviewer to realize that Colossloth plays with noise like no one else.  Instead of building a harsh noise wall and letting it go (which do have their place, mind you), Colossloth actually creates and directs, driving the static/feedback to its command like a snake charmer.  A couple of very important strengths about this album; First and perhaps more importantly in this case is the mix.  Colossloth appears to be a master manipulator when it comes to the mix.  To truly appreciate this, one really needs to wear headphones or ear buds.  Given the left and right channels and the capabilities that lend a listener the ability to sense foreground and background, Colossloth mixes the noise so that it can appear stagnant in certain areas but waving and moving in others.  Where it might be appearing to come from behind the listener, there may also be a noise plane in the upper-left of the mix for example.

Secondly, Colossloth, takes minimal and respectable amounts of noise and static and creates some extremely unique drone-like flows as well as layering the noise pieces on top of deep synths, piano and what sounds like grindcore-style guitar.  He also plays around with cut-ups (track 3, “Comfort In Defeat”) that then turn into noise-drones.  From the guttural and abrasive (“There Will Be Islands”) to the utterly hypnotic (“We Had A Pact”) to the subterranean and terrifying (“A Place Where Your Dreams Can Die Alone”), there’s simply no one else out there that sounds like this guy.

I think I could see why Colossloth has been heralded as ‘the best of the new wave of British Drone.”  Heathen Needles has game-changing potential.

Heathen Needles is available on digipak CD now.


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