Sounds of Battle and Souvenir Collecting is one of my happier recent discoveries. This Scottsdale, AZ label is “dedicated to experimental, drug/metal, art-doom, and drone,” in limited pressings of gorgeous packaging. If the names Crucial Blast, God Is Myth, Southern Lord, and Aquarius Records mean anything to you, Sounds of Battle merits your time.
Gog is also from Scottsdale (and possibly related to the label?). On Noriah Mills, this mysterious entity unloads two massive tracks of drone and doom. “Hovering Lake” is perfectly titled. Six and a half minutes of menacing atmospheres glint darkly and subtlely. I picture the spacecraft Nostromo sitting in its unknown, Alien context.
The title track is mammoth and lonely, building thick, distorted chords in a swirling fog. Drones and drums seep in (I picture the film adapation of Stephen King’s The Mist). At 11:43, the hammer drops, as Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and Neurosis rain down daisy cutters in a slow-motion air raid. The fray threatens to leap out of its dynamic range and engulf your unexpecting, vulnerable reality. Plaintive wails recede in the distance – sounds of battle, indeed.