Raime: Quarter Turns Over A Living Line (Blackest Ever Black)
Raime’s debut full-length is even darker and more brooding than I’d anticipated. Somehow feeling aligned with Blackest Ever Black’s approach to conciseness, the album is but seven tracks and under 38 minutes long. However, for Raime’s gloomy aesthetic, the brevity works in their favor. It starts with a beatless haunter that is surprisingly similar to Forest Swords — waves of feedback and noise that work in tandem to create a mysterious atmosphere. Slow rhythm plays a more noticeable role in other tracks on the album, though. “The Last Foundry” is a dirge punctuated by bass and slow drums, all kept alive with a persistent, reverberated creepy percussive pattern that cycles round and round. This formula is essentially the basis for all of the remaining tracks. Hammered, drawn out bass guitar stabs, repetitive high-end percussion patterns anchored by dirge-like slow low-end kicks and reverberated thuds. It’s all pretty grim stuff, funereal and morose. This is not to say that the album is monotonous, at least not anymore than by design. The unresolved, droning overtones of “The Walker in Blast and Bottle,” for example, accompanied by decayed, disembodied shrieks in the distance, amp up the tension considerably. What the album lacks in variety it makes up for in intensity. This music feels pure, incredibly focused, and is flawlessly executed. For those interested in the darker side of leftfield music, Raime certainly delivers.