There Is No Entry or Exit to “The Eerie and Radiant Doorless Rooms of Pain” (Split Premiere)
Just like they push the boundaries of what can be considered music, artists within the realm of ambient and drone music tend to make interesting forays into complex subject matters, attacking concepts in ways that genres more tied to song structure and cadence cannot. Incoherency and unpredictability actually work in the music's favor in this case, authentically rendering the chaos of existence. Pseudodoxia and The Sun and the Mirror bend this to their advantage on their new split The Eerie and Radiant Doorless Rooms of Pain, exploring the concept of memory and the need to live in the moment, respectively. Both these ideas hinge on abandoning a traditional start-to-finish flow—in Pseudodoxia's case, due to the inherent unreliability of our recollection, while The Sun and the Mirror suggest that what's to come is immaterial compared to the present. Though they take vastly different sonic approaches, the two halves of the split rely on drawn-out, engrossing soundscapes that interweave ambient and drone-doom musings, offering flashes of intensity and tension that are best experienced without any thought to what comes next. Skip all the guessing and just absorb each moment as it arrives—listen to the split now with our full stream here.
We last heard from The Sun and the Mirror earlier this year when they released their debut full-length Dissolution to Sun and Bone [interview here]. Their merger of powerful doom and gripping ambient textures is in full effect here, though it's cast in a different light: while the harsher tones and angrier edges on that album fit its themes of grief and resolution, on The Eerie and Radiant Doorless Rooms of Pain the duo opt for an intimate and almost reassuring sense of up-close doom. Clean vocals and cello textures add an organic warmth to the gloomy riffs, reaching out to the heart even as the rumbling bass and blown-out snare threaten your speakers' livelihood.
This warmth serves as a vital contrast to Pseudodoxia, who craft the first half of the split from bleak, inhuman raw materials. Relying on a sort of corrupted musique concrète, angry synthesizers thrum atop muffled, dour backing riffs (there's no telling what instrument is creating them) and confoundingly distorted vocals. The 'doom' region of their ambient-doom-drone continuum is no less fractured, pitting discordant leads against moody vocals as drums thrash almost arrhythmically behind it all. It's jarring and often rather uncomfortable, but due to this, all the weirdness has a habit of aligning into unpredictably excellent moments. This new group consists of members of Feed Them Death and LaColpa (the latter having crafted one of the scarier records I listened to last year), so this fusing of twisted, avant-garde minds has borne exactly the hideous fruit one could hope for.
United, at least broadly, by the idea of 'now' mattering more than anything else, the two halves of The Eerie and Radiant Doorless Rooms of Pain actually do create a narrative, or at least a journey: Psuedodoxia erodes the listener's need for structure and The Sun and the Mirror then contemplates this change in perspective. It's not really a good thing that we can't trust our memories, or that our hopes for the future can destroy our present, but this is doom metal (in part)—diving into sad truths is a reward in itself.
Pseudodoxia is interested in exploring the notion of memory - its unreliability and the transitoriety of our knowledge and understanding of it.
The intention from the get go was to treat our music like the aural version of a book by W.G. Sebald, therefore stylistically exploring the option of a narrative that is ultimately incohesive and yet able to tell a story through multiple fragments of memory. The layers comprising our soundscapes are juxtaposed fluidly rather forced into cohesion for conscious interpretation, and so our songs titles are all acronyms - debris of logic rearranged to represent the unthinkable.
The Sun and the Mirror comments:
“The Relinquishment of Hope” is a meditation on the life denying temptation of escapism, the longing for utopia and salvation that keeps us from experiencing each moment fully, whether that be joy or immense sorrow and pain. It is about letting go of the impulse to wait for life to begin “when things are better”. It is a full acceptance that utopia may never come, that we have to live fully while we’re alive, through fortunate circumstances as well as tragedy and unmitigated disaster.
The Eerie and Radiant Doorless Rooms of Pain releases on November 26th via Brucia Records.