Seirom – 1973
A new double album from a man associated with fearsome black metal (Gnaw Their Tongues, among others) might sound an intimidating prospect. M.C. De Jong’s Seirom project, however, explores opposing emotional polarities to his other work, while drawing upon similar sonic textures. If a Gnaw Their Tongues record entombs the listener in malefic darkness, then putting 1973 on is like suddenly stepping into a world of blinding, celestial light, which pours ceaselessly forth throughout its 90-minute duration.
De Jong creates this hallucinatory effect by marrying the kind of post-shoegaze, abstract walls of noise used by acts like Birchville Cat Motel and Yellow Swans, with the incessant, low-mixed percussion of black metal. The guitars, too, are buried beneath the ever-present, dreamlike synth chords, which are key to the LP’s unearthly quality. 1973 thus subverts the tools of black metal, successfully creating a sense of spirituality, transcendence and light. [Sam Wiseman]