Torpor and Sonance have shared a stage so many times that a split between the two was inevitable and, given that they are two of the most exciting bands the UK’s underground currently has to offer, the two of them pairing up is excellent news indeed.
Torpor kick the record off with three tracks – this is the first recorded material since Nats Spada left the band and, instead of replacing her, the remaining three members have shared the vocal responsibilities equally, making for an interesting new sound. Jasager is minimalistic and bleak, occasionally interspersed with oppressive feeling passages of ferocious riffs. This first track is nicely juxtaposed with Environs, a dreamy, ethereal soundscape of beauty tinged with shoegaze, allowing bassist Lauren Mason to showcase impressive clean vocals. Finally, Agalma mesmerises with cavernous deathliness, channelling likenesses to Thou with strangled guitars and barked vocals. An exciting look at what’s to come from this now trio.
Sonance lead into their side with End Your Life – this distinctive turnover is made by the clean sound of the guitar. Their blackened tinge of post rock is wickedly brutal sounding and this carries over into second offering Under And Under, a bold and sonically devastating 8 minutes compared to their usual 16 minute slabs of pure ambience. Instrumental Capes concludes the split with relentless shifts in dynamic and pace that both captivates and pulverises.
Whatever your expectations of this split are before hitting play, prepare to have them surpassed as both bands are firing on all cylinders and operating at their musical best. With this much creative energy being poured into a shared effort and this being the pay off, it’s genuinely interesting to anticipate what both acts will produce when they next release a full-length each.
Scribed by: Angela Davey