Sometimes it seems like I’m the only metal dude who could not give a fuck less about Halloween. I don’t necessarily have anything against the day itself, at least beyond my dislike for holidays in general. It’s more that Halloween more or less marks the beginning of the ‘holiday season’ – almost two full months of shitty holiday music, obnoxiously decorated houses, manufactured outrage over what is or isn’t on the Starbucks holiday cup, and a litany of other fuckery that easily makes this my absolute least favorite time of year.
So it was with this curmudgeonly mindset that I first listened to Threshold Between Worlds, the long-awaited sophomore full-length from New Zealand atmospheric sludge/doom merchants Shallow Grave, and sweet jeebus is it the exact kind of sonic balm I needed for my already shitty mood. By which, of course, I mean it’s foul-tempered, abrasive, and heavy enough to induce a hernia. Centered around the theme of blood sacrifice, the four epic songs on Threshold Between Worlds open up into four wending, serpentine paths lined with crushing riffs, harrowing dark ambient/noise, and tortured vocals, all wrapped up in minimalist arrangements that allows plenty of room for the unrelenting bleakness of the music to come through.
Let me put it this way: Threshold Between Worlds will be released on Halloween, but it’s so good that I’m willing to overlook it. We’re also thrilled to be streaming this nasty piece of work here today at the Vault. Give it a listen below, and then head over to Sludgelord Records to either preorder it digitally or grab one of the limited-to-300 LPs that Sludgelord is co-releasing with Black Voodoo Records (100), Cursed Monk Records (50) & minoRobscuR (50).