The first thing that struck us about the demo we got from Amocoma, a mysterious black metal horde from right here in San Francisco, was the cover art, a child-like pen and ink drawing of a pile of heads, but instead of being bloody or gory or horrific, they're sort of more cartoonish, like a whole slew of stick figures were decapitated, their heads tossed in a huge pile, beneath the scrawled band logo, wreathed in clouds of smeared ink. We were definitely intrigued. And if anything, once inside, we were even moreso...
Amocoma traffic in an ultra lo-fi, muddy murky blackness. It's definitely black metal, there is plenty of buzz and blast and howled vocals, but at the same time it's sort of stumbling and noise rocky, it's probably a little of both, but it's all rendered nearly indistinct by the incredibly FX drenched lo-fi production.
Beginning with dreamy swirls of soft focus harmonics and distant rumbles, it doesn't take long for the band to lurch into action, a simple hypnotic riff, looped over and over, almost sounding more like a bass than a guitar, and not so heavy as it is trancelike. The drums are mechanical and repetitive, the vocals are howled and swathed in reverb, spread out over the proceedings like a black cloud, so much so that at times they just sound like another layer of buzz. And the more you listen, the more pretty it sounds, sure it's raw and harsh, but the melody is so hypnotic, and the swirling clouds of distortion and reverb give everything a sort of soft focus shimmer.
We're definitely reminded of Canadian black metal obscurists WOLD, in the sense that these little fragmented pop songs, are rendered black and buzzy by the application of super saturated distortion, tape hiss and amp buzz, reverb and delay, so even at its heaviest, it's washed out and abstract, and downright dreamy. The drone element is through the roof, and it's impossible not to hear Tim Hecker or Machinefabriek or any one of those masters of smeary dreamlike sound. At some points things get super psychedelic, like halfway through "Small Dark Sea That Was A Body" where the guitar drops out, leaving just the drums, to sort of pulse and putter in a wide open expanse of soft swirl, while drifting above are all manner of glistening guitar harmonics, spacey FX sparkles, and warm warbly melodic hum.
Damaged and dreamy, freaked out and fucked, one of our new favorite slabs of black beauty for sure...
Coming soon, a proper cd reissue of the demo, remastered, with new artwork, and TWO bonus tracks!
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