Hedengang/A Curse for the Lifeless

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This Southern Lord pairing unites two prior-released EPs by self-contained, one-man operations: Danish doom depressive Nortt and American ambient black metaller Xasthur -- deep underground metal stalwarts both. Up first, Nortt's Hedengang EP dates from 2002, and offers four conceptually attuned concoctions of improbably stark, cold nature. All four cuts, the intro, outro, "Glemt," and "Dog Od Borte," have their desolate chords and bleak single note lines composed mostly on piano -- over which bowel-scraping vocals and crusty, distorted guitar chords are then used to slash through a darkness, black as pitch. However primal, the results are, incredibly enough, quite mesmerizing and heighten expectations for Xasthur's A Curse for the Lifeless EP. Following Nortt's decidedly minimalist streak, this will sound almost lush and upbeat by comparison; but, in truth, still registers hardly a pulse with its mournful brand of Norway-approved black metal (see its gradually developing, ten-minute centerpiece, "Blood From the Roots of the Forest"). In conclusion, the combination of these masters of doom and despair constitutes the perfect sort of music to freeze to death to. Enjoy!