Contrary to their painstakingly measured artistic delivery, Germany’s [ B O L T ] are not a band that rests on its laurels, always in search of new ideas to explore and depths to discover. Their second release of 2019 is this album-length split with countrymen MORASTH featuring two grim reflections on the bleakest edges of the doom and drone framework and the darkest spaces between.
As the album progresses, the drums build to a towering fury, culminating in bast beats and heavy bass rhythms. These cary the album through to its natural conclusion.
“In many of [ B O L T ]’s previous compositions, there exists the faintest glimmer of hope beneath surface, but “[ 0 6 ]” is a different kind of beast, jet-black and sinister throughout, geared toward listeners fascinated by the opportunity to gaze into the pit and find everything they could have expected reflected back at them without compromise,” their press release explains.
Although they function within the doom soundscape, there is something far more disquieting about their interpretation; it’s as if where many bands revel in the conventions of doom, MORASTH celebrates its bedrock. More than just a collection of behemothic riffs, “…ut in caligine terrae residam, tamen patria aether manet” makes texture and atmosphere its cornerstones and builds from that sturdy foundation into something towering and impactful. Translating to “…even though I dwell in Earth’s gloom, my home remains the ether.” It’s an appropriate title for a track that—while ostensibly doom-based—feels like something else entirely, simultaneously both threatening and compelling.