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ruhr hunter
torn of this
glass throat   2002

album rating: 2

submitted by jc smith on 23-Feb-2003

Torn Of This, the second full-length release from Ruhr Hunter (there's also a split release with Gruntsplatter and a collaborative work with Chaos As Shelter), is a stark, somber affair accentuating the dark ruminations of the earth. Chet Scott, the man behind Ruhr Hunter and the Glass Throat label, has fleshed out his dark sonicscape sound with an array of instruments, including everything from the familiar (acoustic guitar, electric bass) to the unique (hammered dulcimer, antique autoharp, energy chimes, Sukop fretless bass/e-bow), giving Torn Of This a distinct atmosphere all its own.

"Wounded By My Own Blade" opens with strummed acoustic guitar amidst a scattering of sounds (the halting caw of a crow and odd, echoed nuances), and the strange caress of a metronome-like metallic screech; the mood tumbles into a more despairing murkiness as the track progresses, still sprinkled with a smattering of sounds. Further in, the ominous is highlighted by the 'war drum' and all-around darkness that looms subtly, menacingly, on the horizon. After bells introduce "The Sower & The Sown," space is emphasized, an emptiness littered with crisp sounds that resonate with much power because of the barren terrain they fill. A descending, arching melody, along with one that sounds as though it utilizes a wind instrument, gives the song an ambience not unlike something soundtrack maestro Ennio Morricone would create! "Of Wolf & Flame" is sculpted around a Ruhr Hunter trademark: a single note, echoed to eternity. Add a groaning sound over the top (someone has awakened Bigfoot) and tinny sounds that flutter along with the echoed note, along with a cluster of bowed instruments throughout, and a magical symphony in the forest unfolds. The temperament of the sounds shifts as the track moves forward, growing more tonally weary and wise as the track evolves. Fascinating! The thickest darkness on the disc is on "The Sky Is Denied," a brooding darkness dotted with antique bell chimes that clink and clank with oddly muted timbres. "A Colony Of Bees, Asunder" opens with jittery, crystalline tones that mesh with samples of honey bees, a hive of manipulated tones that intrigues throughout. Torn Of This is a wonderfully eclectic, though solemn (that's not a bad thing, just a choice by the artist, and one I fully endorse because it's done with such passion), listening experience. Highly recommended!!!

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