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Colossloth - Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth

Colossloth is Wooly Woolaston. There's a clue to the sound of Colossloth in their name. Break it down and it reads colossal and sloth. And that sound is impressively slow and heavy. While that description could easily apply to the crawling monolithic riffing of label mates Khost, for Colossloth on Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth it is achieved through a layering of heaving dark ambient drone with noise and electronics. It is industrial but at points they dabble with haunting atmospheres via strings and piano. It's not particularly typical of the noise and dark ambient releases found on Cold Spring either, as here Colossloth's experimental drone noise is neither a full-on noise assault nor wholly blackened industrial electronics. Their explosive evolving sound layers are cut with mangled electronics and sound nuances almost elevating it into the realms of a sound artist exploring experimental drone and noise textures. Colossloth don't appear too concerned with concept, if anything there is a desire for experimentation with a cursory playfulness at work here. I don't know how this compares to their earlier releases; Colossloth have been active since 2006 with a number of releases behind them but Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth is really quite difficult to define due to the diverse influences they co-opt and obliterate.

Evolving from deep droning synths shot through with bursts of shredded noise 'The Flavour Of The Weak' permits gently plucked strings to surface before the effected noise is sucked up into the turbulent mix-up which gradually take centre stage. It's followed by 'Your Flag Stands For Nothing' which is bookended by a series of blasts of analogue shudders riddled with processed effects, with quieter passages of processed strings filling the middle section. 'Of Talons And Teeth', a later track, follows a similar template as it wrestles with shrill feedback and heavily distorted vocals. Powerful bursts of electronic noise arise from the ambient gloom before kickstarting a series of discordant wriggling blasts of noise. It's a simple process creating a sense of momentum but it is one which Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth follows flitting between sound shudders and drone with alternate passages filled with effects, strings, piano notes or blasts of noise.

The drones and ringing tones of 'Cave In We Are Complete' is a meeting point between dark ambient droning and mutated electronica, assuming the form of wild like metal riffing as composed by a sound artist. But there's playfulness at work here too, as it slips into an exciting combination of warped stylings and backward hauntology tapes, littered with noise elements. I may be wrong but I think Colossloth are more interested in sound than any over arching artful concept.

That haunting element continues over into the title track where tempered guitar notes recall segments of Coil's 'Paranoid Inlay', amidst distorted synths and queasy buzzing electronics. That haunted atmosphere and comparison doesn't hold true for too long though, as the entire thing is subjected to passages of cut-up radio tunings and static, moulded with textures and ethnic samples like those that infuse the works of fellow Cold Spring act Khost before it returns to the haunting drones. Things become more restrained on 'The World Keeps Turning (On Me)'. Here subtle drones are laced with screeching insect chatter and looped orchestral passages. Nothing stands still on Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth for too long and eventually everything is subjected to ripping guitar distortion and insectoid noise.

There's an obvious harsh noise element to 'Paint Her Face To Simulate The Bloom'. It's undercurrent of bubbling electronic chug, is pierced by harsher frequencies and tones. What sets it apart from noise groups is the tumbling piano notes that play out, amidst the ravaging noise and lashes of frequency interludes. This is what makes it hard to pin down Colossloth on Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth. One moment its noise shudders, the next its droning ambience, but they're all cut with other musical and digital elements. The brooding piano chords of 'The Nameless Saint' create another haunting moment but it's shot through with sidereal electronics, noise ruptures and uneasy tones. It's these tracks where Colossloth allow other unexpected elements and instrumentation to surface alongside the drones and noise that I find most satisfying. It's an approach that's followed on the closing track, 'Black Deeds From Dead Seeds', which pits the melodic against the discordant. Wavering pipe like drone and tumultuous electronic chatter shadow quaint plucked strings and location recordings. It's conversely unsettling and inviting creating a tipping point that on the final track is never fully realised.

Dark ambient and noise releases are ripe with concepts and Colossloth seem to avoid that. Beyond a sense of experimentation, I can't fathom any intention behind Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth. Colossloth are certainly dealing with interesting sounds and textures but for me it is sound over concept and sometimes maybe that's just enough. For more information go to