Freed of this Flesh
Portland’s Trees continue their deliberate descent into atavistic drone nirvana with Freed of this Flesh, an even more uncompromising and accomplished record than 2008’s VERY impressive Light’s Bane. With Freed of This Flesh, composed of two stygian, towering 14-minute tracks (AND NOTHING ELSE), Trees have fully transcended their influences — KHANATE, Burning Witch, SunnO))), Eyehategod, and the Melvins at their most oozing — to be fully in command of their sound. In fact, I’d vouchsafe to say that with the likes of Monarch and Weedeater, Trees are at the forefront of a new phase of doom music.
And what is Trees’ sound exactly? It’s a sickened hesitation, the clenched night-terror panic when you’re trying to breathe or talk and no air will enter your lungs. It’s nausea and indecision, a primal shriek. Trees’ songs are decentralized, nonlinear affairs that bring to mind free music as much as winter, but without any chance of virtuoso wank. Trees keep it simple and evil. Familiar motifs and chord progressions emerge from a thick green fog before dissolving again, feedback and bleeding noise hangs in the air like a fetid stench, there are long pregnant pauses, percussion is an erratic heartbeat, and the vocals, fuck man, it’s like an exorcism, a manic episode, and a Burzum album all combined into one antisocial bundle. Despite the disregard for song structures and enthusiasm for sonic degradation, Trees do seem to have this very, VERY strong discipline and vision underlying their sound, which makes their music compelling and harrowing listening.
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