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Split – Trist / Lonesummer

Trist (CZE) is a doomy depressive black metal project from the Olomouc area of the Czech Republic whom has quite a history regarding a prolific number of releases. This back catalog includes no less than half a dozen demos, an equal number of splits (with the likes of Korium, Grimnir, Through the Pain, Kaxur and Holomraz, amongst others), and at least four full-length efforts, the last of which was seen in 2007 on the now seemingly defunct Insikt label whom are known for their releases from Dimhymn, Ovskum, and the now infamous split between Nuit Noire and Circle of Ouroborus.  This said, it would seem strange to some that Trist has been more or less completely absent from his array of solo recordings over the past few years, only re-emerging for this effort with Lonesummer and the forthcoming Za Hranicí Skutecnosti EP.  Here Trist delivers a 20+ minute droning assault of fuzzy, repetitive guitar riffage and simplistic percussion with no vocals.  It is every bit as hypnotic as it sounds, and while 20 minutes of the same riff repeating in ‘chapters’ sounds monotonous and pointless, it actually passes relatively quickly and works well to drench any background noise in reverb and take it out of existence.  At the right volume, it is all-encompassing to the point that it fills your lungs and your surroundings like a dense mist.  Around the 15 minute mark the track changes to a different progression that will wake most out of their droning slumber long enough to enjoy the end of the track before Lonesummer comes in.  The title of the track translates to “Peaceful Lure of Darkness”, and while there are minute changes in approach and composition throughout the several different droning riffs involved, if the opening 15 minutes are the peaceful lure, then that change in progression represents the arrival of darkness.

Philadelphia’s Lonesummer (US), on the other hand is a different beast all together though they, like Trist, are a trio of musicians (though two in Trist are session musicians).  Their side of the split is a 5-track effort that takes up under 15 minutes — 5 minutes less than Trist’s one track. Though not as prolific, Lonesummer has certainly has their fair share of split releases with the likes of Planning for Burial, Marsh, and Tinnitustimulus.  Just last year, the label Music Ruins Lives — whom are known more for their releases from the likes of Bad Braids, Greys, Bad Life, etc — released Lonesummer’s first full-length in “There are Few Tomorrows for Feeding our Worries”.  With this release, Lonesummer showcases their side of experimental black metal that, unlike Trist, is involved and quickly subject to change due to the shortness of the tracks.  Guitar work can be both highly rhythmic (Mundane Dreams about Flash Floods) with a quality that heralds back to old grungey riffs and highly melodic with a catchiness that is so strangely familiar that I swear I’ve heard it elsewhere (“No more Bonfires”).  Vocals are of the high-pitched depressive caliber and, while audible, are completely unintelligible.  There isn’t much here by way of what one would consider traditional black metal.  It’s fairly raw but it’s more rock-oriented, especially regarding the drum performance (which turns strangely jazzy mid-blast in “Clouded Eyes and Candlelights”.)

This is definitely one of those releases that is probably an acquired taste for most.  Both artists on the split represent an area of black metal that is highly desirable to a select group of listeners with both having their own specific elements of accessibility.  Eclectic listeners who specifically have a taste for black metal should be all over this one.

Track List:

01) Vábení Pokojné Tmy

02) Regrettably, our Harvest Never Grew
03) Ghost Stories
04) No more Bonfires
05) Clouded Eyes and Candlelights
06) Mundane Dreams about Flash Floods

Rating: 3.5/5
Written by: Sage
Label: Ars Magna Recordings (US) / AMR020 / CD
Black Metal / Experimental