“…it would be difficult to imagine an album cover that’s more evocative of the chilling, unearthly, and inhumanly destructive power of these seven tracks, or their ability to seize and hold the listener’s attention.” – No Clean Singing
Marks/Traces is the impending and wholly crushing new split release between LLNN and WOVOKA set for release this Friday via Pelagic Records. In advance of its official descent, today No Clean Singing is streaming the record in full.
Issues the revered blog of the offering, “LLNN’s tracks are speckled with cold, spooky ambient textures, both haunting and cosmic, and you get a taste of that from the very beginning. And then the pounding begins, along with a grim but almost anthemic fanfare of a melody… This combination of frigid, space-borne ambience, explosive vocal vehemence, tension-ratcheting guitar work with a spectral sheen, and cataclysmic rhythms, form the core of the rest of the tracks, too, and the result is 20 minutes of pitch-black atmosphere and skull-splintering drive, with the final track (‘Gravitated’) devoted entirely to an ominous combination of chilling, void-faring ambience (including a sound resembling ghostly choral voices) and a deep, pulsating drone with a grim, ritualistic aura… [WOVOKA]’s ‘Traces‘ is a slow build, one that picks up where LLNN left off, with moments of cold cosmic drift and isolated guitar notes that sound desolate and depressive. LLNN can pound like a skyscraper-sized pile-driver, and so can WOVOKA, and you get a taste of that soon enough with the abrasive crash of conjoined chords, booming drums, and gravel-chewing bass. A melodic chord progression comes in, screwing itself into the listener’s head through repetition, with a resonance that’s dramatic, doomed, and simmering with incipient derangement, coupled with wrenching howls from WOVOKA‘s vocalist. As you might expect from a song of this length, the intensity ebbs and flows, but the tension in the music rarely relents… As the final seconds of pulsating ambience arrive, you’ll wonder where the time went.”
In case you missed it, sample LLNN’s video for “The Guardian” HERE.
LLNN‘s and WOVOKA‘s Marks/Traces split will see release June 16th via Pelagic Records on CD, LP, and digital formats. Belgian artist Ammo was commissioned to create the stunning artwork, which perfectly reflects the music comprising this release. The vinyl editions come with a hand-numbered, five-color screen-print. The limited edition comes on brass and black wax, which looks like an impact crater. Fans of Cult Of Luna, Neurosis, Amenra, Rosetta, and ISIS pay heed. See all ordering links below.
Emerging from a near two-year slumber since their critically-lauded Saros debut, WOVOKA contributes one, single eighteen-minute closing opus to the Marks/Traces split with LLNN.
With compositions of truly epic proportions which transcend the clichés of heavy music, the band has scorched their position in the Los Angeles underground as one of the most volatile, unrelenting acts in the area. WOVOKA understand that true heaviness lies in reduction – reduction of tempo and of a musical idea to its bleak essence. Lyrically, “Traces” examines the nature of grief that comes from loss, in a fierce sonic representation of the emotional weight of fear, and the finality of greeting the end of one’s mortal coil. “Writing this song was extremely difficult and stressful,” relays the band, “and at almost eighteen minutes long, it mirrors that creative journey and our own personal struggles during the process. In the end, with the help of our friends Alex Estrada (Silver Snakes) and Jay Valena (Oskoreien), we reached something that we are very proud of. We are currently preparing to record or second full-length and will be announcing a few tour dates later this year. All of us are so excited to share this release, and we hope it’s as cathartic for the listener as creating it was for us.”
Copenhagen-based LLNN released their crushing debut, Loss, last year via Pelagic. Terrorizer crowned it, “a bleak soundtrack to a cinematic, post-apocalyptic landscape,” which couldn’t be more accurate. Indeed, the massively heavy, tightly-woven sonic fabric that these four young Danes create has been critically acclaimed throughout the European press landscape.
The Marks material which forms their part of this upcoming split album was written and partially self-released before Loss. But from the first crunching riff of opening track “The Guardian,” trudging along the simple, relentless rhythms before Christian Bonnesen’s truculent vocals take the song to the next level of blackened intensity, it becomes one-hundred-percent clear that this material is in no way any less mature than their debut. Much like Loss, the wavering drone synths that are effortlessly merged with their raw, hardcore-driven darkness defines the subtle idiosyncratic nuances of LLNN‘s wildly unsubtle, painfully overwhelming sound.