NATHR/ORDO CULTUM SERPENTIS split album, “Shadows Crawl”

By Octopi Mills

The label Signal Rex brings us a split album on CD, vinyl, and tape formats entitled "Shadows Crawl". NATHR’s track "Burial" sprawls into the near 20 minute region. There is a cave-like ambience and all this entails, perhaps attempting to capture the scent of the burial tomb. Gray and black artwork adorns the sorrowful and depressive torment that these sounds are wrapped in and snakes crawling through the skull and eyeholes of man. The promotional link led to a somewhat confusing Bandcamp page where it wasn't easy to navigate through the two tracks but I did manage.

The ORDO track was a long sprawling thing as well, and if I were told they weren't separate projects I would not have been any wiser. The problem I had with this split is that it was depressively boring and dismal in a way that didn't offer this listener much beyond the typical horrors in this sort of music, which isn't to be hailed as anything new or ground breaking at that. It sprawled in a way that was boring to me and not in that good snaky sprawl of the manner in which another metaphoric snake might slowly lay itself across such matters and concepts.

On the topic of sprawling things I could no doubt sprawl myself and into such realms of outright elastic and such other far flung things involved; but though I can do this I will not because it is not fair to myself or to the listener at this time. I could compare this to the fellow who called in to Art Bell's radio show once in regards to Mel's Cave. It was said men unraveled hundreds and hundreds of feet of cordage or rope into a hole and never found sound plumb- that is sort of what I feel here but also feel as if there might even be a gag or a pun...but I know these men are digging somewhere...trying....sprawling out...and I must leave it here in saying these men are both diggers, miners, and sprawling loafers of their own accord, which I myself liken a certain artistic licensing to, and I will stop at that.