Thursday, April 5, 2012

Foxy Digitalis on LOD 022: Servile Sect

There are a few more copies of this tape available here.

"Servile Sect has expressed a number of very varied incantations, but have you ever wondered where they got their start? Land of Decay has been gracious enough to offer us a sampling of their beginnings with this unheard re-release of their demos from six to seven years back. Side A is entitled “Manifesting Starships to Destroy the Vatican.” It is exactly what it’s called, a sci-fi/horror soundtrack. The entrance is an eerie psy-fi drone that leads into a slow funeral dirge of black metal amplified ambiance. The slow riffs churn with a hate cloud of reverb and feedback. Long syllabic shrill vocals harshly hit the ears. It’s like Sunn O))) with fiery utterances. It all settles down with some amped-out drones that seem to pulsate and quiver at a snail’s pace like a cadaver hooked up to some voltage played at slo-mo. It’s like a calm after the storm. Side B picks up with “Nouranihar,” an intense black metal excursion that borders on psych with its trance-worthy repetitive riffage and astral effects. All that fades for some guitar that beckons toward the night with a howling series of chords. You can just feel the shadows envelop you. The second half of the track is “Kings of Saturn.” This mostly consists of some gobbledly-gook transmission that has been broken down into audible snow. I can just imagine this manifested visually into little cubes with various rapidly-shifting lights and motions displayed within each box. It sounds like some kind of communication from the beyond that is roughly coming through. Overall, it makes for an uncomfortable atmosphere. A setting of high-pitched guitar loop substitutes and steps into place. It creates its own broadcast as though responding back to the cosmic message.

I feel as though I have entered even further into the enigma that is Servile Sect. They are undoubtedly a one-of-a-kind duo that puzzlingly originate their own sound and style. Sure, they have obvious influences and cues, but they reinvent themselves and the genres in which they work time and time again. Penetrating further into their mystery has only left me scratching my head again. How do these boys do it? A great tape that is the missing link between what these guys have been doing and every other artist that works in black metal, noise, psych, and drone. We can hear how they got to where they are now. These demos aren’t too far from where they are now at all, but they aren’t quite as developed as their later releases will be. Servile Sect will always be one of the most exciting experiments today, partially because of their aura of unsolvable mystery.

Their inscrutable nature pulls through even in the presentation of this tape. Kevin Gan Yuen (Sutekh Hexen) is the brain behind the art and design. He also put together the art on their LP, “Trvth.” He has done a marvelous job on both releases. They each have very menacing and evil artwork that are tamed by the psychedelic colors and shapes as well as intergalactic imagery. The sinister and the prismatic that are hybridized in song are carried into the splashed illustrations. The tape is a pretty awesome green with gold imprinting that continues the honeycombed pattern found in the art. Limited to 100. Seriously, this is a must!"
-Dave Miller