EP Review: [B O L T], Lavas Magmas – Untitled

German drone metal duo [B O L T] have joined forces with Floridian industrial noise project Lavas Magmas on this untitled three-track collaborative split EP of ambient post-rock.

[B O L T] perform the first track, ‘1 2’, which is basically a short series of ambient synth notes stretched out for over ten minutes with lots of ambient sound effects being played over and under it. The tone is lush at times but savage at others, with some parts recalling jump-scare moments in latter-day David Lynch soundtracks.

Lavas Magmas’ track ‘Sepsis Psychosis’ is similar to the lighter elements of ‘1 2’, being a series of synth notes with overlaid effects, but has none of its underlying menace. However, the EP’s strongest track by far, and the one on which both acts collaborate, is ‘[1 7]/Shadow of a Grey Ghost’, which features perceptible use of guitars for the first time on the record.

The track is 23 minutes long and takes roughly four-and-a-half minutes for the aforementioned elements to come to the fore, but the bands’ guitar playing serves as a pleasurable reminder of ‘Rock Action’-era Mogwai. It also suggests slight My Bloody Valentine influences, which is no bad thing. Synths feature lower down in the mix than they did on the previous two tracks and the record fades out on a haunting piano melody.

It’s possibly fitting of a collaborative split EP that its strongest track is the one on which the participating bands actually collaborate. How the mechanics of this worked when one of them is based in Duisberg, Germany and another is based in Gainesville, Florida is anyone’s guess, but the bands’ work has produced an EP that is occasionally foreboding sounding but always atmospheric.

[ B O L T ] + Lavas Magmas by [ B O L T ] & Lavas Magmas
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