05 Jun 2021 - Thorsten
Doom | Brucia Records | Release date: 02 Apr 2021
Doom. Folk. Doom. Orchestrals. Doom. The Sun And The Mirror release their full-length debut Dissolution To Salt And Bone. Doom. Noise. Doom. Drone. Doom.
Every once in a while new bands step onto the scene and well, define one’s one taste – sometimes very, very radically, sometimes in a more refining way which shows up connections and possible combinations one had not thought of before. One example for the first kind might have been bands like Kiss, Metallica or Nirvana – explosions on one’s palate. Earth, Amenra or Russian Circles might be examples of the more refining kind. The Sun And The Mirror from Seattle, WA, definitely belong in the second group. Their music never erupts, never explodes yet somehow shows you possible combinations that are so obvious once you see them.
Those combinations might be genre-wise or they might be in the way they make music. When looking at the latter, one thing must be explained about the band. The Sun And The Mirror consists of only two members: Sarah and Reggie Townley, a married couple that makes music together with Sarah playing the cello and Reggie filling up all other “spots” - the vocals, the whole rhythm section, the guitar and the electronic elements. Now if you listen carefully you can notice that Sarah’s cello is not just laying some finishing touches to the music but that it is used in a much broader sense, for example also as the basis for drones or whole orchestral passages. That becomes very clear in the two ”Intervals” that open both sides of the record and both much shorter than the songs following, especially ”Interval II” shows that very impressively because sometimes you can hear the slight movement of the bow over the strings that are then electronically multiplied into a drone which even leads into the second long-track and pre-released single ”Katherinella Angustri”. To understand the way those long-tracks are constructed, it’s important to look at the open character of the music.
They blend the aforementioned genres into long, winding, epic tracks which without any pre-indications of where the track will head next. ”Katherinella Angustri” is a perfect example for this: the track takes its first seven minutes for simple, very minutely ascending spherical bits and tidbits before the rolling and distorted guitar lines slowly shoves to the front. After another nearly four minutes, these guitar lines turn into shriller passages and the whole thing turns from doomy drone into noisy ambient. The ethereal, near-choral vocals by Reggie (which seem to have been multiplied) give the whole thing a very eclectic character even when it becomes shriller and noisier.
The fact that the four tracks and 43 minutes are based equally much on Sarah’s orchestral and on Reggie’s noisy doom-interpretations shows another important thing about The Sun And The Mirror: The duo are able to lay down passages of very folksy grace that are not that far away from shenanigans (and thus close to Wreckmeister Harmonies) before throwing dirt at them and stretching beyond the regular breaking point (which is the parallel to Earth’s version of folk and drone). With Dissolution To Salt And Bone The Sun And Mirror might just have released the best debut album on this side of slow, extremely creative and mesmerizing, enchanting confusion that 2021 can offer!