Not to be confused with the cult Italian industrial ambient outfit, this group are described as “shadowy wanderers’ from the Dutch underground. With a strong visual aesthetic looking at their promo pictures there is not much else to go on with regard to this lady and two gents. Names are not mentioned just the initials I.V, T.D. and M.T., nor are any past involvements, their Facebook shows them to be relatively new and at time of writing only has 131 likes on it. Perhaps that could be about to change and hopefully some will notice their 6-track debut album as it has quite a wealth of ideas and illustrates that the trios songcraft is engaging and already quite mature.
We start at ‘Home’ and along with ‘Malkuth’ the two tracks flow into each other combining as a whole and showing that the production here is loud and somewhat brash at odds with the at times ethereal vocals. It’s hard not drawing comparisons to everyone from Cold In Berlin, to Dool and even as blast-beats suddenly reign down giving a leaden heaviness as the journey progresses Myrkur. What is evident is that the musicians like to experiment stylistically and obviously are not looking at being pigeonholed easily by any genre conventions. We get a bit of every flavour here from Gothic to post punk, a splash of doom and some serious progressive tendencies as they comfortably let the music flow. Obviously, the blasts suggest black metal and closing instrumental ‘Maggot Brain’ reaches even further afield into almost classic rock territories.
Maybe such musical schizophrenia should not work but the compositions all gel together and the fluidity of the half hour listening experience does hold its own albeit in a manner that twists and turns both in style and pace. Every listen kind of unveils something else too, you may have missed the strong bass tones of ‘Spiral’ on first play and the combination of references to both shoegaze and even jazz tones that pepper the ever-changing musical landscape. There’s a sense of beguilement about everything here, not least of all in I.V.’s vocals, which are ever expressive and show a full range of emotions. Taking in passages that express frantic extremity to chilled out parts that are left to meander this has the scope to attract a good cross-over audience and should work very well live when debuted in Holland in April when the band support the equally intriguing Turia. The depressive air of The Long And Self Destructive Road shows a young band who have obviously walked dark paths and carefully constructed them into a coherent and personal musical vision. A strong debut which although short is certainly sweet.
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)