Dunnock / Intergalactic Holocaust: from space, a message of raw noisy BM and chilling doom slasher guitar

Dunnock Intergalactic Holocaust

Dunnock / Intergalactic Holocaust, self-titled, Temptations of Resonance, CD (2014)

From the far extremes of the cosmos arrives this missive from two fairly new BM acts from opposite ends of the planet. Dunnock is the musical child of the fellow who heads Acephale Winter Productions in the US and one-man band Intergalactic Holocaust hails from Australia. Together on this CD the bands celebrate different aspects of interstellar travel. Dunnock (on this recording a twosome) turn their attention to two momentous events in 20th-century space exploration history: the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle on 28 January 1986 on “Jan 28th (my harp is turned to mourning)” and the Soviet launch of pioneer canine astronaut Laika in a spacecraft in 1957 on “Kudryavka”. Intergalactic Holocaust opt for a more familiar theme of an invasion of Earth by a mighty force of evil Lovecraftian aliens.

On this recording Dunnock reveal both a mysterious dark ambient side and a raw noisy BM aspect to their musical personality. “Flower of Flesh and Blood” is a forbidding space tone poem that sets the mood – a dark and ambivalent one at that – for the steaming noise to come. Aforementioned “Jan 28th …” blasts its way straight between your eyes and grinds a deep hole in your head with booming guitar-noise grind, in the main to create a space for spoken radio recordings. “Kudryavka” is also a scathing track with screeching battery-acid vocals and a deeply ominous bass drone rhythm. Both tracks are effective in their intensity but they are repetitive¬†and come close to wearing out their welcome. “Facedown in the Ohio” seems to express some optimism and hope for a future where space travel might not be plagued with Challenger-like disasters or the abuse of animals in space exploration experiments.

Intergalactic Holocaust has a sound as chilling as its name though the music turns out to be rather less alarming and apocalyptic than the name would suggest. Still IH generates a very cold and remote atmosphere that would freeze your blood dead. A listener feels very much alone and isolated in his/her little corner of this distant and uncaring universe. The songs on IH’s part of the split don’t sound much different from one another: across the music, the percussion is barely audible, the vocals are ragged and generally revel in acts of malevolence, and steel sheet riffs of guitar tone with an abrasive edge¬†dominate throughout. Each succeeding track becomes darker and more doomy, and there is more melody as well.

For me, Dunnock have the upper hand over Intergalactic Holocaust for a more varied presentation with definite atmospheres and emotion. The other band relies a great deal on long slashes of sharp-edged guitar and needs stronger percussion than what it has (which isn’t a great deal), and the sound can be thin. IH does have some good riffs and melodies and needs to develop these further into more distinct songs. Overall, this split is a good if not always even introduction to two very underground bands.

Contact: Temptations of Resonance