Black metal has evolved from its origins. It’s a natural state of affairs as people come to it and reinterpret what they hear. Its managed some limited commercial success, crawled into one man bedroom bands, had its clothes stolen by post-rock bands who previously had never thought to turn up their guitars, pushed into headfuck noise crawlspaces and regressed into the bestial mire. Somehow new, shadowy ‘English animist black metal’ trio RID manage to do both of the last two in one unnerving six track debut.
This was a chance find, a stumble upon. And from the first door-splintering storm of ‘Red Grain’ it had me. Their sound is deceptively simple; one riff, monomaniacally unwavering in its unrelenting drum driven drive and vocals howled from the soul of someone being torn apart from within. But what a riff and what vocals. It is a bloody cascade of fury, a descent into a disorienting, dizzying abyss. ‘R.I.D.’ follows; different riff, same attack, same utter elemental fury. And then you hit ‘Who Is This Who Is Coming?’ and even as it tears into you with the obsessive repetition the hairs on your neck prickle and chill: This just sounds wrong. I get a flashback to the still unsettling Jonathan Miller/Michael Horden adaptation of M R James’ Whistle And I’ll Come Running To You, My Lad from where the title comes. It fits the primal, dark thread perfectly. ‘White Walls’ hurls annihilation, stagnation and separation from some feral padded cell. ‘Lightning Wheel’ with a sliding, harsh sound over the riff manages the impossible of a mesmerising, unable to look away instrumental. ‘Solve’, the final track, offers no solution the sane were looking for.
This EP trips so many internal triggers in me. It is relentless, repetitive, primitive, elemental, wrong and unhinged. I was worryingly reminded of an excerpt from Thomas De Quincy’s Suspiria de profundis concerning ‘Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrows’ which I first read quoted in the front of the forgotten Fritz Lieber novel Our Lady Of Darkness:
“She carries no key; for, though coming rarely amongst men, she storms all doors at which she is permitted to enter at all. And her name is Mater Tenebrarum—Our Lady of Darkness”.
I let RID see that crack…
Ltd Ed vinyl from White Horse Records, digital download from Bandcamp.