Chronicling the Famine

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Gruntsplatter sounds like the name of a death metal band, which is misleading, because this is most certainly not the work of a metal band. The main project of San Francisco dweller Scott Candey (also of Umbra, Blunt Force Trauma, and the Crionic Mind record label), Gruntsplatter walks the fine line between and creepy ambient/drone music and heavy-duty electronic noise, and succeeds here by finding a space for the two to co-exist. What distinguishes Chronicling the Famine from others in this field is Candey's knack for taking potentially harsh sounds and submerging them into a thick soup of more ambient electronic sounds, so that they don't sound harsh at all. Highlights are tough to single out here because this album is very consistent -- both in terms of mood and quality -- and in any case, the tracks are clearly all meant to work as part of the bigger picture. Suffice it to say that mood-wise, this album lives up to the name of its label, Desolation House, and is best-experienced on a good pair of headphones, late at night, alone, and in the dark.

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