Very exciting times as a brand new Natural Snow Buildings announce a new record on Ba Da Bing! Terror's Horns is a relatively brief excursion for the duo, and is a little less droney than most past efforts. The vocals can recall bleak English folk, but the music is a wonderful, multi-faceted blur. Gorgeous stuff.
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Here’s one more from the band who never stop releasing records, not even if an ambient cease and desist were to sustain its way through their letterbox. Robert Pollard, take note, because this duo have made the same album time and time again, and I’ve always wanted to listen to it; following last year’s monolithic ‘Night Country’, which continued their exchange between patchy folk songs and frozen ghost drones, they’ve returned with a record that sounds as familiar as ever, but compresses their epic aesthetic into a tight forty minutes.
‘Terror’s Horns’ is arguably the band’s most dramatic work, at times acting out terrifying musical ideas rather than just ruminating on them: less time, more problems, and “Twilight Bells, Terror’s Horns” is hurried towards a conclusion, black metal’s feedback urging on NSB’s own pantomic folk. They come marching in on opener “Dawn On a Buck Skin”, the anthem to a city slowly burning in the corner of one’s eye. Listening to this record is like skipping between scenes on an old Western, between the tension and the breaking point: kicks of the drum and an echoing chord snap the record into action before the band begin one of their long ambient hibernations.
“Saturna’s Black Belt” stretches out as xylophonic twinkles suggest signs of life, the tune reaching an unfathomable peak with a chambered climax to rival Julianna Barwick. It’s one of only two longform pieces, suggesting that NSB have been writing their music in panicked fragments, whether they take the form of “Sun Tower”, a trembling, chiming drone that sounds most like something off of the icy ‘Waves of the Random Sea’, or the evil doom stomp of “The Rising Portal”, whose drums sound like they’re breaking glass. These little snippets feel unrelated, but each strand has a singular aspect of fear running through it -- its urgency, its constancy, its inevitability. The horns of terror? Indeed.
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