Saturday, 2 May 2020

Men With Mallets - Nephilim.

Men with Mallets – Nephilim – CD – Sonic Entrails - 2020.

     1.    Watchers.
     2.    Taken.
     3.    The Judgement.
     4.    Banished.

The work of Men with Mallets has always been fascinating for me, I was extremely impressed by their last album Leviathan. This stand-alone EP provides me with more to marvel at. As always Men with Mallets is John Shapter and Blind Johnny Smoke.

Slow churning sounds build up to deep rumblings and drones to create the opener Watchers. I like the deep, floating dream like state of the work. The addition of suspenseful sounds makes for an impressive Ambient introduction to Nephilim.

I feel as if I am by the Sea when Taken begins, deep arching drones cut across the sea like sounds, the beauty of the work intensifies here. The drone noises seem to pull my imagination across a landscape. Due to this there is this mental pull between land and sea. Another form of drone enters the picture and feels as if it represents the sky, the listener is then taken to an even fuller landscape of sound.

I’m pulled back into an intense dreamlike state for The Judgement which has gradual build-up of singing bowl sounds that seem to continually multiply and grow. This bares similarities of sound to the other tracks yet has an individual mood and argumentative feel of its own as various drones play off each other until things die off.

We are left with a desolate landscape for Banished, quiet sounds and subtle noises combine to do this. There is a gradual, subtle rise in sound that pulls things to the forefront with a lesser intensity than the previous tracks. This still ties into the rest of the EP, yet it is also different to all the other tracks as it is a lot bleaker, but it winds Nephlim down to an end.

I had quoted the last album as one of my highlights of 2019, this, for me, is a high point of 2020. It feels like an album stripped down to its most relevant, strongest tracks to make for a perfect work. The rich textures and subtle variation in the work combines to make an excellent EP.

Nevis Kretini 2020.

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