Dead Sea Apes have previously released a record called Sixth Side Of The Pentagon, which is either a very good or very bad title depending on how high you are (Norman says: don’t do drugs). On new LP The Free Territory this Mancunian group double down on the stoner chic, serving up some powerful and doomy psych-rock. The Free Territory’s title track, for instance, is a gigantic sludge of riff and reverb that would make Sleep proud. Very nice stuff.
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'The Free Territory' by Dead Sea Apes is an alienating but immersive work that takes in drone, psych, dark ambient, and metal. It takes the form of seven long-form pieces making up almost ninety minutes of controlled, sludgy cacophony. For a band that have flirted with dub in the past, this record is curiously beat-less, with the drums submerged in the mix, and seemingly preferring to rely on guitar squalls and synthesizer growls in order to keep the pieces in some form of loose regulation.
This album is dark, there's no doubt about it. I really enjoy how seemingly formless it is. I also love how the record only rarely seems to reach any kind of grand climax; Dead Sea Apes are clearly masters of restraint. One such moment where things do all come together, however, is on my favourite piece (they seem more like compositions, or pieces, than 'songs') from this record, the titular track 'The Free Territory'. It's a classic Dead Sea Apes slow-burner, eventually kicking into action like some giant bird taking flight, complete with pounding drums, dense drones, and guttural, wailing guitars.
If you like slow-moving drone music, and like the idea of a band that's similar to Sunn O))) and Sleep's slightly chippier cousin, then 'The Free Territory' by Dead Sea Apes should be right up your street.
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