Tome/Seven Morgues – Deep In Marble
15/06/2009 § Leave a comment
Artist: Split Album / Collaboration
Title: Tome|Seven Morgues – Deep In Marble
Label: House of the Last Light
Genre: Ritual Ambient/ Experimental
01 Tome – Horns Locked Deep In Marble
02 Tome – Achrit
03 Tome – Raising Towers On Shallow Water
04 Seven Morgues – Unspeaking The Universe
05 Seven Morgues – RetroTragedy
06 Seven Morgues – I Disappear When Autumn Comes
The human voice can be employed to elevating and angelic degrees or unsettling, distressing and disquieting ones. Tome know all about the latter three. Including one half of the dark ambient group Seven Morgues, Tome is a purely vocal collaboration between Arie Kishon and Oren Ben Yosef, so it’s only natural that the two projects should share a split album.
To say this stuff is disturbing is an understatement. Using incantations, clean vocals, screams and shrieks, Tome hum their way through three of the biggest aural blasphemies I’ve heard. But this isn’t loud, cacophonic white noise – it’s subtler, eerier, more malicious. Tome is a challenge for those who think they’ve heard everything in the ambient scene. Dissecting each song would detract from its magnitude, sufficed to say that throughout their three tracks Tome employ a mixture of soft, elegant chanting, pained wails, screams and even weeping. They have a perfect awareness of the strengths and abilities of the human voice, and they use this knowledge to tear out all the frustration, pain and torment within themselves, and deliver it with a hammer blow to the senses of the listener.
Seven Morgues’ dark ambience is slightly more subdued and utilises occasional piano and guitar segments, albeit minimally. Oren Ben Yosef’s vocals are now familiar, though just as disturbingly strong and sinister as before. This is the first time I’ve heard a piano used to this degree in a dark ambient record: short, staccatoed melodies play in the background, perfectly adding to the eerie elements of the music, especially in “Unspeaking the Universe”. “RetroTragedy” is the longest track on the album, beginning as a Litegi-esque incantation with deep vocals, faint piano and guitar feedback and climaxing into a dizzying series of drones. It’s perfectly fitting that Seven Morgues take the second side of this split – any dissimilar act would have totally spoiled the effect.
There’s no hesitation in saying that Deep In Marble is one of the most harrowing experience I’ve had through music and reinforces the fact that the most extreme material isn’t to be found in the various incarnations of the metal genres, but in the ambient ones. Both Arie Kishon and Oren Ben Yosef have created a pained siren of the musical realm, an auditory vine that twists and constricts its way around the listener’s subconscious producing something genuinely solemn and disturbing – and the more familiarly it resounds with us, the more unsettling it becomes. Deep In Marble is a potent and fascinating work, but one which you’ll only be able to come back to once you’ve prepared yourself.