Unearthly Trance

Season of Séance, Science of Silence

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Long Island's Unearthly Trance arrived just in time to try and fill some of the void left by the sadly disbanded Warhorse, and 2003's Season of Séance, Science of Silence -- their full-length debut for The Music Cartel -- attempts to stake their claim as one of America's most extreme purveyors of doom/death metal. Indeed, the impossibly low-ended frequencies attained by snail-paced sludge-fests like "Mass of the Phoenix" (whose lyrics are credited to none other than Aleister Crowley!) and "The Aftermath Was Morbid" simply must be heard to be believed. Frankly, their seemingly unending, perilously close to bowl-releasing thrumming (lasting at least nine-minutes each) usually proves a tad much for the senses to process, but with their varied speeds, distinctive riffs, and the semiversatile vocals of main man Rion Lipynsky (ranging from a hoarse rasp to an equally tortured clean-singing style), more diversified (if equally challenging and lengthy) compositions like "Raised by the Wolves" and "Wandering Winter Winds" fare much better. Also on hand, shorter offerings like "When Anti-Humanity Flourishes" and "Black Heart/Black Lung" provide a welcome change of pace, while showcasing the trio's already very mature and confident interplay as a group. In short, while certainly not for the faint of heart (or dangerously incontinent), this exploration of the extreme qualifies as a promising start for Unearthly Trance.

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