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Divorce Ring and Equality Is a False God Combine to Create the Sound of Glaciers Melting into Electric Wires

by Patrick Bertlein

Divorce Ring and the contentiously named Equality Is a False God take the core aesthetics of drone ambient to an entirely new level. These two fifteen-minute tracks are shrouded in obscurity behind walls of static and indecipherable sound clips. Beginning with Divorce Ring’s “March on the Stones,” the droning noises complete with increasing reverberations lead to a ringing abyss which seems to last forever. It sounds like a valve being turned on and off, releasing a hissing poisonous gas that threatens to suffocate its audience. Minimalism and steady repetitive sounds create an eerie atmosphere that is only interrupted by a deep bass tone, which is bound to create fear and anxiety in the most hardened souls. This style of music has always been the antithesis to feelings of warmth, and much like the separation of a relationship, you can empathetically feel the distance that this music emulates. The difficulty in discerning some of what is being said in the various clips can lead to either listening that much more intently, or simply tuning it out.

Equality Is a False God | Credit: Thomas Boettner

Equality Is a False God offers of “Necklace of Tears” for their part of the split. Here, indecipherable noises ring forth as eerie shrieks—audible spirits tapping on old boilers that erupt in the background. For this track, it is most clear that both artists involved on the split certainly take their time; when I say this is “minimalism,” I mean it. A sample develops minutes into the track, and suddenly a heavier noise begins that brings about a dissipation of the repetitive sound. It’s easy to imagine witnessing this composition evolving live, the feeling that the hall’s audience must experience when a voice begins and the music almost goes into a fully nostalgic episode, and how shocking some of the sudden intermittent bursts of sound come through, one at a time. It’s a well-composed track, and it’s fairly easy to see where much of this is going as it unfolds. “Necklace of Tears” may sound like it is erupting into chaos near the end, but the voice hidden by continuous static makes a lot of sense. From the perspective of creation, the emotions that Equality Is a False God are trying to elicit here are well thought out and effective.

Divorce Ring | Credit: Alan Sifuentes

Both tracks are quality offerings, and while I can’t say that this split specifically sticks out from the hundreds of other button-pushing, wire-crossing manifestations of insanity that float into the underground daily, it certainly holds its own as an ultimately obscure piece of multifaceted art. It is an experience—something felt—and I can appreciate that. If you are a dedicated fan of this style of industrial/noise-tinged ambient, this split is worth your time.

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