Review Summary: Does what it is intended to. Blandly.
When I first heard that Unfathoms (Austin Tracey) and Blasphymartyr (Mappy) were doing a collaboration, I was not thrilled to say the least. Unfathoms' body of work ranges from awful to average grating and meandering noise. His last album, Rogue
partially succeeded on the mere fact that he incorporated more variety into his music and less unlistenable noise. Unfortunately, it was too forgettable and average to go anywhere. I had not heard of Blasphymartyr's work until recently, but after listening to this split EP I can safely say that it is of the same category of noise as Unfathoms, albeit slightly more appealing and slightly more listenable.
Unfathoms' side of the EP, while not having much going on musically, does what it was intended to do; it maintains a calming, relaxing and often dreamlike feeling through minimal progression and ambient/post-drone instrumentation. "Tale of the Astral Plane Chapter One" soothes the listener with muffled text-to-speech lyrics and an atmospheric progression. "Chapter Two" follows the same concept, only this time the TTS is louder and more annoying. As the song faded into Blasphymartyr's "Disharmonious Latitude," my ears began to ache.
Blasphymartyr's work comes across as a stab at Unfathoms' early noise projects. "...And Harmony Escapes" wakes the listener up from the ethereal state of "Chapter Two" and is painful and thoroughly unenjoyable. The rest is more mellow, yet just as grating and with as little appeal to the ears. Closer "Benadryl: Please Stop Now, Kthxbai" is the only saving grace, with the noise more repressed and more attention paid to musical progression. The song ends with leaving the listener in almost the same state as Unfathoms' side. Still, it is obvious Blasphymartyr has a lot of work to do if he wants his noise to resemble good music.
In short, Mr. Tracey improves exponentially with Votre Cote
, and Mappy fails blandly with Mon Cote
. The result is an at times decent, yet usually inoffensive and forgettable release. Try again next time.