** Edition of 300 ** Wildly unexpected and crushingly good turn of drone metal from Tape Loop Orchestra’s Andrew Hargreaves and collaborator ‘Metal’ Dave Rothary, with artwork by illustrator of the grim, John Powell-Jones. Narayan commit a pair of monstrous tracks years in the making and left to marinate in the vault until the stars aligned. With lockdown finally bringing the world to its knees and their pace, the time has finally come for ‘Narayan’ to seep out; presenting one side of claw-handed, shuddering riffs, backed with an extreme take on Schoenberg’s 12-tone system applied to drone metal, with results clearly worthy of comparison to Sunn 0))), Earth, and Phill Niblock.
Ostensibly not what one might be lead to expect from TLO when judging from previous outings, the two projects do share a core interest in the enduring mystery and metaphysics of drone overtones, which is here explored to more radical, tangibly physical lengths. Fusing pure sine tones, tape loops and charred guitar, they really revel in the earth shuddering downstrokes and decaying roil of their phantom overtones on ‘Bildung’ with uncompromising might, while the introduction of each tone at minute intervals in ’12 Tone Drone’ is stealthier in effect, appearing to circle rather than climb a craggy mountain of staggering black metal riffage.