Originally released in limited numbers on cassette back in 2012, The Eternal Marshes by Nottingham based drone-doom duo Bismuth gets a physical reissue and features one goliath and immersive sixteen-minute-long track.
Comprising of drummer Joe Rawlings and bassist/vocalist Tanya Byrne (interview here) Bismuth create some of the slowest, loudest and most thought-provoking music in the doom-drone genre and those familiar with last year’s fantastic, devastating album The Slow Dying Of The Great Barrier Reef will find lots to love here, though some may notice it has an even rawer and looser feel than last year’s release.
Released in tandem with their appearance at this year’s Roadburn Festival, The Eternal Marshes opens with ominous feedback that builds gradually to include rumbling drum fills, rattling snare and cymbal crashes. The mood now set, Byrne’s blood-curdling screams come in just after the three-minute mark to powerful effect. Haunting and dramatic, her vocals match the music perfectly. The deathly slow pace allows for the unsettling atmosphere to grow naturally; the music is given room to breathe and what on paper may sound claustrophobic in truth sounds vast and expansive – their sound is truly massive. The track begins to settle into a groove around the halfway mark, albeit at funeral march pace, before tailing off to a quieter, darker and eerie interlude which is intensified by the unsettling falsetto humming of Byrne.
That Bismuth can create such a complex and intense sound with essentially two instruments and vocals is a testament to their creative talents. What’s more, it’s astonishing how quickly the sixteen-plus minutes pass by. Such is the immersive, trance-like nature of their music. This is simply a release not to be missed.
The Eternal Marshes is out April 11th on Tartarus Records. Purchase here. For more reading, check out our feature on Byrne’s new doom trio Dark Mother.
Words: Adam Pegg