Stevie Floyd and Ashley Spungin can be considered doom high priestesses – if you’ve yet to check out either of their previous projects, Dark Castle or Purple Rhinestone Eagle, then you ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourself; rectify that immediately. My first encounter with Stevie Floyd was when I saw Dark Castle support Yob at the Purple Turtle, in London, back in 2011 – I was instantly mesmerised by Stevie’s vocal style and guitar playing and it’s down to her that I picked up a guitar again, with dreams of starting my own band.
Fangirling aside, with a talent such as Stevie’s combined with that of Ashley, it’s difficult not to be intrigued and, thus, I’ve been avidly following Taurus’ work since they first released two-track album ‘Life’ back in 2012. ‘No/Thing’ is a definite progression from their previous release; Ashley’s drum work is still fairly simplistic but covers a wide enough range that it never falls out of focus with the rest of the music. While ‘Life’ had more of a free-falling, improvised atmosphere, ‘No/Thing’ has a definitive structure and I didn’t so much listen to this album as I did embark upon an ethereal journey into the unknown.
‘No Thing Longing… Human Impermanence’ opens this record and is absolutely terrifying from the get-go. Stevie’s vocals have taken on another dimension in the two years since the duo’s last release and what escapes her throat on this track is akin to the shrill shrieks one would expect to hear from a banshee roaming fog-drenched marshes.
The guitar work is unbridled as ever, meandering between pretty, almost shimmering chords before violently jerking upwards to something much more sinister. Despite the constant changes in dynamic, this record still maintains a dreamy (perhaps nightmarish is actually a better choice of adjective…), tranquil quality that will hold you absolutely hypnotised.
Featuring guest vocal infiltrations by producer Billy Anderson and Leviathan’s Wrest, there were moments when this record literally made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. This isn’t a standard bread and butter doom release, but if you’re already aware of the previous musical efforts produced by both Floyd and Spungin then you’ll already have an idea of what to expect. There’s doom, there’s drone, at moments it feels horrifically awkward, there are even a few passages of blackened death metal sounding riffs; the avant-garde soundscapes put forth are certainly an acquired taste, but if you’re into being scared silly then this album is an absolute must have.
Scribed by: Angela Davey