By on 2 June 2010

Depending on where you stand, the internet might have been either the best or the worst thing to have ever happened to music. The truth, if it exists, if probably somewhere in the middle, and I’m not even getting in the same room as that can of worms, let alone opening it, but one thing is for sure – it does allow for all kinds of strange and spectacularly underground stuff to be discovered and spread around almost by accident. Twenty years ago, it would only be possible to hear about a band like The Sun Came Up Upon The Left if you tape-traded with one of the, oh, four people in the world who know about them and they filled the free space at the end of 90 minute tape with a couple of songs. Not great odds.

In 2010, however, all it takes is to have some good taste in what you read. The Living Doorway is one of my favourite blogs, author Jaime is a stupendous writer, that sort of enthusiastic, funny and knowledgeable recommender who makes you want to listen to everything he posts there, and he frequently dredges up stuff that’s worth discovering. Such was the case with this nebulous entity from Salem, MA (apparently), with only a demo to their name and that unmistakable fog of mystery and natural kvltness/coolness around it.

Now, when you download a demo, you know it probably won’t be as great as the description preceding it, especially a first demo from a one-man project that the recommender himself claims is a friend of his, and one that wasn’t even supposed to be made public in the first place. Jaime made it sound so awesome I downloaded it anyway (it was legal, okay? The demo is free from the band’s blog), and how can you resist a band that on their short description at has a sentence like “Not very much is known about TSCUUTL“? Nevertheless, I was secretly expecting some paper-thin unlistenable crap to pour out of my much abused speakers.

Well, it wasn’t. Many a band in this world will spend hours of their careers in studios and in rehearsal rooms and never release anything as good as ‘Demo 2008’. The overall feeling of TSCUUTL – let’s shorten it like that from now on, my fingers hurt already – and the basic framework in which it operates is clearly black metal, as it’s peppered with that foggy ambiance you get from other one-man projects such as Burzum, of course, but also Leviathan, Xasthur or Krieg, for instance, conveniently all of the three USBM as well. However, that’s not all there is to it, not by a long shot. Less abrasive than the aforementioned, TSCUUTL verges on the psychedelic sometimes, drifting along hazy doom-like dirges with distant vocal samples, tons of reverb and a certain spectral quality to the vocals. On the other hand, on a song like ‘I Wait, My Ghost’, for example, there’s also a remarkable clarity on the final sections, with a surprisingly luminous solo and clean guitars achieving an effect akin to a single ray of light coming out of a pitch black tomb. When it all gets dirty, though, it’s proper dirt too. a death metal kind of dirt on which even the vocals turn rougher and coarser and the music more direct and instantly crushing. I could keep throwing names and parallels like “a more to-the-point Deathspell Omega” or some other journo shit like that, but just go and listen to the damn thing.

Still, it’s a demo. The good news are, TSCUUTL has a new album ready to come out, with former sole member .db. now joined by Jaime himself (aka JGD), who further enriches the project with extra vocals and lyrics. There were two songs off ‘And The Dreams So Rich In Color…’, for that will be its name, already available for preview, but with the full album freely available since yesterday, I can tell you that no two songs could do justice to the experience, even if one of them was the hypnotic highlight ‘Germination Of All Things’. Go get it now too at the band’s blog.

Says there they’re looking for a label to release it. So, labels, fuck’s the matter with you?

TSCUUTL blog (with both releases freely available)



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About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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