Self & Distance is a 25-minute piece of droning doom from Danish quintet Arakk. Originally released digitally in June 2014, Aonair Productions has given it the physical release it deserves. Casting light and shade over a desolate landscape shaped from a tortured soul, S&D tests the endurance of anguish against a backdrop of soul-withering atmospheric doom.
Low, cavernous vocal emanations reach for the soporific drones seething with melancholy. Arakk are in no rush as precipitous droning chords maintain a glacial pace with gorgeous, bewitched and haunting synths bathing the darkness with light. Melodies linger in a semi-conscious state as the listener falls under the layered embrace.
Quiet, contemplative states mesh with bracingly loud explosions of sound and emotion that build on each other until spent. But not always through catharsis. Sometimes they simply relinquish control and let peace take over.
Near the song’s midway point that peace is realized with gentle strumming soothing the soul over a hypnotic drum beat while enchanting female vocals call from beyond. With peace ruling amid the darkness the ground cracks open in a swell of huge chords picked with melody and monstrous growls.
The heaving drone pushed relentlessly towards the brink of doom as the listener sinks deeper and deeper into ultimate despair. As the track reaches its conclusion the encompassing doom fades back into the aether with the tolling of bells and crashing thunder signaling demise.
Self & Distance is a conflicting slab of drone and doom. Towering doom meets heart wrenching melody and captivating atmosphere. It fills the listener’s senses and carries them away from reality leaving them feeling spent yet strangely cleansed.
Just imagine what a full-length release will do! (Tentatively slated for 2016.)
Released on Aonair Records.