|Review: Brulvahnatu - Uterine Acid Swishes|
|Uterine Acid Swishes|
Label: Eternal Obscurity Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: September 10, 2019
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
for:Uterine Acid Swishes
Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)
Brulvahnatu (I know neither the meaning nor the pronunciation of that word) are one of the most inscrutable Black Metal acts I've stumbled across. Despite this being officially recognized as his full-length debut, sole member Kib Sreng had a litany of demos before this, all released a few months apart from one another and many clocking in at full-length times. This album also claims itself to be the 8th part of a series that spans over most of his output, so this could technically be seen as his 8th album (10th if you count the two demos not listed as part of the series). I'll just have to take his word on this being part of a series, as no lyrics are available online and the only thing I can find that appears to be close is text located in the fucking disc cover! Combined with only ever having one album listed as having a limit greater than 500 copies and a digital release that no longer appears to exist, this reaches a level of kvlt that I find almost agitating. Of course, a big part of this agitation comes from the fact that this album is as good as it is and will likely never see greater distribution.
This album works in the Depressive Suicidal Black Metal vein carved out by bands like Forgotten Tomb and Xasthur, acts whose sound Uterine Acid Swishes recalls without really imitating. All three songs on here are over 17 minutes long, with album closer "Suffer Long" being 26 minutes, all of which are composed of thunderous blasts of tremolo riffing that give way to twanging, mournful acoustics and spacious ambience like you'd find in a sub-zero crypt from ages past, led by vocals that range from a subterranean bellow to a cavernous howl of torment. This is all accentuated by the production, which is low-fi and raw while retaining the clarity needed to let the winding turns and surprising depth of the compositions shine through. I'm unsure if the songs needed to be as long as they are, and they don't quite have the focus I'd like them too, but clearly their dragging lengths are an intended part of the experience. The aforementioned "Suffer Long" particularly stands out for how long it carefully builds upon itself until it reaches its frightening climax, which is punctuated by an unhinged spoken-word sample that exudes more self-loathing and despair than I think most bands can ever truly manage.
This review has gone on a little longer than I usually aim for, but that's because there's so much to say based on how little is directly given. Whether this is an attempt to exorcise inner demons or spread them to all who are willing to listen, Uterine Acid Swishes is an uncompromising, iconoclastic work of agony and dread that stands with the best in the DSBM movement. At only 500 copies, this is really fucking hard to find, but if you ever randomly stumble across it like I did, get it without reservation.
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Interview with Kib Sreng on October 3, 2020 (Interviewed by Mjölnir)
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