Sunday 22 November 2020

Lords Of The Drift - The Arecibo Message

Labels: Stay Gold Records

Formats: Digital

Release Date: 20 Nov 2020


1. The Arecibo Message:

Act 1. Earthmakers (0.00 - 11:30)

Act 2. Geomancy (11:30 - 16:45)

Act 3. The Golden Ratio (16:45 - 29.02)

If anybody tells that housework/manual labour is good for you, it's all lies. I got up especially early this morning to do some and now my lower back is killing me. I'm now resting and this strange one-track release from US drone metal band Lords Of The Drift. The quartet that make up Lords Of The Drift are guitarist Tomo Milicevic, guitarist Tim Showalter (Strand Of Oaks), guitarist/keyboardist Arjan Miranda (Black Mountain, S.T.R.E.E.T.S) and bassist David Bason (Barfbag, War Oprhan). The Arecibo Message is made up of three movements and has been released to pay tribute to the interstellar radio message that was sent to star cluster M13, carrying basic information about humanity and earth. Apparently, the message wasn't an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life but was merely to show off our technological advancements at the time. Seems quite fitting.

The first act is titled ‘Earthmakers’ and if drone is what you’re looking for, then you’ve come to right place. Given what this song pays tribute to, you can imagine the feedback-laden guitar being the white noise that the communication travels through. The communication being represented by the treble and melody (at least that’s how I interpret it anyway). There are no drums present here, so all of the music is performed solely by guitars and a keyboard, with no vocals tainting the atmosphere. The ambient noise also sounds very real here, making the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. You feel like you’re there listening to the message in real time. 

I don’t usually reach for drone of this kind very often but it’s actually oddly relaxing as second act ‘Geomancy’ takes over. There’s no obvious gap between acts so as to create a seamless piece of music, but there is a definite change in sound here, with more melody and less feedback. It’s more airy and calmer, maybe representing the original message as it flies through space on its way to it’s final destination. Compared to ‘Earthmakers’, this second act only lasts around five-minutes but there’s no attempt by Lords Of The Drift to merely use it as filler. 

Final act ‘The Golden Ratio’ is darker and more menacing at times. It highlights the quartet’s experimental approach and continues the journey with swathes of drawn-out riffs, repeated feedback and general ambient noise that’s all layered together to create a real feeling of warmth. I know there are fans and writers out there who can describe this better than I, but it’s not an exact science, like the creation and interpretation of the music itself. The Arecibo Message will invoke different images for different listeners. 

Even without the use of mind altering substances (I don’t do drugs), this release is easy to get lost in. It’s really well thought-out and is thought-provoking as well. I know several people who will enjoy this greatly, as I did and if you’re new to this genre of music the it’s a great place to start.

Act 2: Geomancy is streaming via Youtube below:-

You can order The Arecibo Message via Apple Music here - Lords Of The Drift do have a profile on Bandcamp, but it has nothing streaming on it. There are no social media pages for the band.

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