Utarm / Sadness Saturn – Untitled

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Band Utarm / Sadness Saturn
Album Untitled
Country Norway / USA
Genre Black Metal, Noise, Drone
Link
Release date (album) 2009
Release date (review) 2015/10/11


Review

Utarm

Utarm deliver … as usual and the music offers not many pleasantries. It is extreme as it is eccentric, the performance of the Norwegian band. Screams, noises, textures, steadiness are some of the core elements of this band not only on this recording but in general. It is music whose overall conception falls out of the realm of the ordinary. Extreme consistency in an extreme sphere, this might sum it up somehow.

Just a snapshot. This track is a snapshot into the a world of torment and pain whose atmosphere is filled with the slow and steady beating of the drums and dense layers of incomprehensible noise. Event Horizon, anyone? But...

“It goes no further than this. Stops right here...” (taken from the X-Files' “Ice”)

What a strange way to open a release. Yet this is the way the one long track heads off and after that a crescendo of noise. A short gasp and off again. No mercy, no absolution, no happy end. Sanity is left along the road in the first seconds of this track, while the realm of torment and terror opens its jaws in order to take a bite out of reality. Utarm has a strange warmth to it that quite a lot of noise bands do not take into account when it comes to composing music. The arrangements tingle the senses, they spark a curiosity but are not off-putting. It is like a fix that demands renewal from time to time. This is even more astounding, as the overall complexity is actually somewhat wanting. It is music, whose bottom line consists of a minuscule play with a certain type of motive or texture that is then worked with … worked with in distinct limits. This definitive way of expressing the depths of the troubled mind is what makes this track quite interesting, as does a lot of other stuff by this band.

Utarm falls out of the realm of the ordinary and their share of this split album to provide another argument for this.


Sadness Saturn

Too eclectic maybe? Too much a compilation of ideas and nothing that would hinge together? Could this be the bottom line? While Utarm offers one track with a coherent idea, Sadness Saturn's side of the tape consists of three pieces and each of them is different in some respect. Yet, even though these hinge together to some extent, there fails to be a binding element so to speak. There is no red line that someone would be able to follow. The aspect that there is quite a gap in the styles may also be of importance to some.

Sadness Saturn play depressive black metal with a bit of cavernous touch to it; The Downward Path of Progress. Another conceptual approach is a rather doomy black metal that reminds on some of the tracks by the Cypriot experimental black metal band Dictator; the track Disintegration. Not much can be said about the remaining track Overwhelming Decay, whose ambient noise conception is too ordinary, too generic and too bland to provide a definite opinion about it. Even though this list merely touches the surface of the tracks, they give at least some idea of the direction that this is heading towards.

Elements are merely there and do not add up to some kind of framework. Therefore, the performance of Sadness Saturn may only be of interest to those who happen to have an extreme fascination for everything in the depressive black metal branch.