“Dissolution to Salt and Bone”

By Dr. Abner Mality

If “doom” is a feeling and not just a narrow collection of riffs, then this is doom. It’s not a metal release, but the feeling of grimness and impending demise hovers over this like a graveyard fog. I would describe it as avant-garde drone with occasional guitar harshness. The band is a duo and they apparently conceived this album when they scattered the ashes of a family member in the Pacific Ocean. It sounds like it. It’s a slow, haunting, ghostly soundscape that features some teeth-rattling noise now and then.

The mournful sounds of a cello are a guiding force here, with squalling guitar frequencies, minimal drum beats and jittery electronics adding to the atmosphere. There are two short songs and two mammoths that go in excess of 17 minutes. There are also some really odd male vocals that are clean but sound like they’re coming from someone that’s spent their whole life going to funerals and is bone weary of it. I actually prefer the first short song “Interval One”, the best. The low moan of the cello is truly haunting and it hits just the right note of funereal doom. The longer songs sometimes get overbearing with constant repetition and eruptions of pure noise and guitar distortion as well as those strange vocals. But they are very effective in conveying a mood.

THE SUN AND THE MIRROR for sure aren’t interested in any sort of commercial or popular success and probably don’t care too much if people “get” what they’re doing. This is a private ritual of pain given sonic form.