Release DetailsLABEL Hydra Head
RELEASED ON 8/23/2005
Boris With Merzbow
Sun Baked Snow Cave
posted on 9/2005 By:
Sun Baked Snow Cave is the third collaboration between two darlings of the Japanese underground, sonic changelings Boris and experimentalist Merzbow. Incredibly, this is the second release from this duo in 2005 alone (the other being the limited vinyl release 04092001), and one of four releases/scheduled releases from Boris this year. Sun Baked Snow Cave consists of a single, hour-long instrumental track that ranges from sparse acoustics to oppressive drone and minor psychedelia. It’s a journey that will test your patience as well as your nerves.
The album opens with a long section of very sparse acoustics and some atmospheric white noise. Gradually the guitar adopts a clearer and more forceful voice, but after twelve minutes the contemplative mood is rudely interrupted by what is surely a harbinger of things to come, the gradual arrival of a weathery droning mass that arrives slowly, joins the guitar, and then seems to recede again. But suddenly it becomes clear that what just flew through was merely a scout for a much larger beast, and after sixteen minutes that big bastard arrives, descending like a locust blanket, totally subsuming the mood and structure of the song. For the next thirty minutes it’s much of the same shade of ugly. The song ripples, buzzes, chirps and hums, while occasional guitar notes and snatches of feedback stretch across the dark, congealed core. The final fifteen-minute movement resembles the first section of the song, as solitary guitar work dances under a cloud of receding atmosphere. The similarity of the quiet first and third sections of the song very much convey a feeling of having experienced something; to have witnessed and lived through something much larger and dangerous than one’s small self. Because of this, Sun Baked Snow Cave is definitely an album best enjoyed in its entirety. But it’s definitely not an easy listen, and its hour run time will test most who aren’t serious fans of drone. It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
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