LLNN / Wovoka
Marks / Traces


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aaron Chidwick CONTRIBUTOR (79 Reviews)
July 3rd, 2017 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sludge, from the bowels of a dying spacecraft.

As previously seen on their EP Loss and now here, LLNN have a certain way of injecting an apocalyptic quality into their work. The juxtaposition of Christian Bonnesen’s yell and balls-heavy, drawn out chugs is what could be expected from a group featuring The Psyke Project’s former frontman, and indeed the level of open string abuse is at times remarkable (see: Engineer of Ire, closing section of Eye of the Covenant); however, much like the aforementioned outfit Marks avoids much of the inanity that can come from such a brazen approach. The dense melodies overlaying Bonnesen’s ireful delivery lend to an unusual sound that melds shoegaze and hardcore sludge, creating the sense of vulnerability which proves key to their appeal. Their usage of synths, however, is LLNN’s greatest idiosyncrasy. Sci-fi drones and sweeps underpin much of the half creating an overwhelming tension, while little whirrs, glitches and mechanical shrieks pierce through the wall of sound; cumulatively Marks feels claustrophobic and carries a weight of inevitability, like envisioning the crew of a malfunctioning spacecraft, far from any help. While noticeable throughout, this imagery reaches its climax – and aftermath – between ‘Eye of the Covenant’ and ‘Gravitated’. Following the former’s cataclysmic descent that marks its end, the album collapses into its dividing point, a substantial block of ambient replete with drones, synthetic choirs and a suitably foreboding atmosphere, gloomily marking the end of LLNN’s journey.

While not an altogether different beast, Wovoka’s ‘Traces’ takes on a more post-metallic colour than their Danish counterparts. Impressively, the Los Angelans manage to plunge deeper still into the low-end, going for the jugular with punch after bass-flooded punch during its opening movement. While familiar routes are taken with its developmental approach, track layering and the vocalist’s best Scott Kelly impression, Wovoka make good of their stylistic field in creating a deservedly long, heavy-as-lead response to LLNN’s shorter bludgeons. While markedly absent at first, the astronomical features heard in Marks eventually bleed through once more; however, where they increase LLNN’s intensity, it’s ultimately whooshes and bleeps that bring an end to Traces’ sludgier focus. Wonderful clean vocals add a short-lived yet potent emotional salve, before returning for one final blast to close proceedings; the momentary shift to slightly lighter fields only serves to make the ending all the more impacting.

By way of their collective penchant for the lower registers and impassioned, mid-range vocal performances, LLNN and Wovoka make a decidedly good fit for one another. Neither halves are perfect – the Danes succumb to a little homogeneity outside of the electronic additions, the Angelenos needing a smidge more of their own identity – but their sum is an enjoyable, engrossing, and very relistenable showcase of sludge and its hybrids from two growing bands.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2017


5266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll probably come back to clean this one up, but I've been stuck on a few reviews for weeks now, so I decided to get this out today if only to try and 'unstick' myself.



Hope you guys dig! Check it out here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7XF8UD3rSQ

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2017


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this rules. "Gravitated" really ties the LLNN half together



great review, Arche

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2017


5266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really happy that Gravitated is there, adds so much structure to the split. Ta m'dear!

BlushfulHippocrene
July 4th 2017


1804 Comments


You make me want to listen to a lot more in the genre, fantastic review, Aaron. ((:

Digging: Hundred Waters - Communicating

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2017


5266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Blush ^ ^ If you give it a bash lemme know how you get on!

wacknizzle
July 4th 2017


14515 Comments


Great review, I'm digging this alot

PistolPete
July 5th 2017


4421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Will check out, seems up my alley

Digging: Irreversible - Sins

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2017


5266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought you'd dig it wack, glad you're enjoying it

Ayyy, hope you get on well with it!

Artuma
August 10th 2017


28960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this thing is a beast

Digging: Gang of Youths - Go Farther in Lightness

Artuma
September 14th 2017


28960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the wovoka track is unreal

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2017


5266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah man, the bass on it is disgusting

My fave bits are still the little stabs during Swarms. I still stand by my apocalyptic feel



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