I'm always personally excited to hear anything new from Locrian OR Horseback, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to THIS. The avant-drone equivalent of a particularly stellar issue of 'Marvel Team-Up' from heavy hitters Locrian and one-man stealth unit Horseback - two collaborative tracks on one of those pesky one-sided 12"s. However, in THIS instance the blank space on the B-side is given over to an etching by the ever-wondrous Denis Forkas Kostromitin, who also provides the beautiful cover, so I really can't complain about the space being wasted.
Both tracks contained herein were written by Horseback mainman Jenks Miller and the titanic Locrian trio of Terence Hannum, Steven Hess and Andre Foisy in full collaboration, and it really is a match made in drone-heaven.
First track, 'The Gift', is a hazy miasma of bad intentions and encroaching dread, the soundtrack to a particularly harrowing scene in a particularly creepy movie. Echoing footsteps, deep-sea ambience and the far-off sound of bowed metal give the track it's spine, a distant tolling, slowly rolling drums and an inhuman croak of a vocal provide the icing on this poisonous cake. Short and not at all sweet.
Second track, 'Our Epitaph', amps up the creep factor and slathers on the dread. A slowly see-sawing bassline, brushed hi-hat and a treated vocal that sounds like a priest giving mass from inside a deep well are to the forefront here, and just on the edge of hearing, a droning violin-like sound that makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. The more the track plays, the more the dread rises. More edge-of-hearing sounds creep in, a roaring as of voices howling on the wind and an electronic feedbacking tone that almost sounds like a trumpet or clarinet foremost among them. If you haven't looked over your shoulder at least once during the thirteen minutes of 'Our Epitaph' then you may well already be dead.
As I stated earlier, this is very much a dream-team for lovers of avant-drone/experimental music, and the four musicians involved mesh together as though they have been doing this their whole lives. Mysterious and creepy, altogether ooky, buy this and FEAR.