Zilverhill: Laodicean
Adeptsound / Blind Shouter

Zilverhill, comprised of Tim Bayes (aka Schuster) and Paul Carr (aka pRESENT dAY bUNA), returns with its third dark magick opus Laodicean . Though ten enigmatically titled tracks are listed, Laodicean, which was created in Australia and England during 2011, is presented as a single forty-five-minute track. Little clarifying info accompanies the release, though a brief amount of cryptic text—specifically “Life itself is an exile. The way home is not the way back” and “For The Raven”—does offer some clue as to the intended meaning behind it all, while the title term is defined as “lukewarm and indifferent, especially in religious matters.” No details about instrumentation are listed, though one presumes that an assortment of acoustic and electronic devices, broken and otherwise, provided the raw materials from which the recording was hatched.

The trip is scenic and constantly varying, oscillating as it does between dark episodes and lighter ones. Sequences featuring monstrous vocal effects and churning industrial rhythms segue into calmer episodes that suggest the peaceful aftermath of a nuclear meltdown and gloomier ones that evoke dank and long-forgotten torture chambers. Adding to the pervasive aura of unease, noises reverberate throughout the recording in such a way that a simple scraping noise amplifies until it takes on the character of a zombie's trudge through a still-smoldering landscape. Though Zilverhill does explore the darker corners of the human psyche, the material is never harrowing and Bayes and Carr exercise a surprising degree of restraint in their approach, especially during the final stages where a relative sense of quietude sets in. Even so, admirers of Coil, Formication, and other purveyors of macabre psychedelia will feel right at home visiting Zilverhill's alchemical research facility.

July-August 2012