Sky Shadow Obelisk

“A spinning kaleidoscope of dark sounds: raw, dissonant and very Voivod-ian heavy-assed riffs that get overcome by ambient guitar, distorted bass bellows, clicking hand percussion, Slint-like spoken word recitations, clean singing, interstellar fusion/jazz axe solos and death metal shout-sing…A solid, impressive debut and a perfect addition to all the extreme metal albums showing allegiance to H.P. Lovecraft—the EP is dedicated to the Great Old One’s scribe.”

-Shawn Bosler, DECIBEL

The song “Sky Shadow Obelisk” is a monster of minimalist and oppressively forceful funeral doom. Minimalist because it foregoes the keys and melancholic lead guitar that many bands within the style employ, stripping down to just the heavy percussion (the ride cymbal sounds like the ticking of winding-down oblivion) and very heavy, punctuated guitar riffs. Oppressively forceful because the song itself seems reluctant to keep going at times…A well written and very well produced song which simultaneously evokes atmosphere and claustrophobia.

-Zach Duvall, METAL REVIEW

A one-man doom metal project featuring mellotron and recorder is a recipe for disaster more often than not, so it’s something of an exhilaration to note that this not only acquits itself nicely, but lands squarely in the realm of excellent debuts…the first (track), bearing the project’s namesake, hewing more closely to more traditional Peaceville Three doom. Slow, dragged out riffs, sorry-to-exist death growls, tolling bells and the lingering whiff of mournful, sour melodies. Great stuff.

-Matthew Kirshner, TARTAREAN DESIRE

If your major complaint about doom is that it’s not arty enough, one man band Sky Shadow Obelisk would love to spend 26 minutes and 23 seconds with you. That’s the total running length for this curious two-song EP (or does the length make it an LP? I’m never quite sure), and by the time it’s over, you’re either going to be with Peter Scartabello or against him.

-John Pegoraro, STONERROCK.COM

Cast – Peter Scartabello

“Put your hand on my forehead and whisper the signal is getting stronger. . .in my ear – not performance instruction but actually the title of Peter Scartabello’s meditative work for solo guitar, here played by Ben Moran. Rhode Island based Scartabello’s strength is his subtle, imaginative feel for textures that seamlessly mesh into something greater than their individual parts. His 1997 Cast for string quartet is a mournful piece, with a soundworld balanced somewhere between late Schubert quartets and Morton Feldman. The Charleston Quartet play with remarkable stillness and control, and the disc ends with Electro-Magma for bass clarinetist accompanied by miscellaneous metallic rattles.”

-Philip Clark, THE WIRE(UK)

Leng Jin – Anechoic

“According to their press release, Anechoic “formed primarily as a place of spiritual nourishment in a growing wasteland of modern music.” Wow. To begin with, I wasn’t sure if I should read this statement as pretentious or just totally badass. However, after listening to their disc, I’m inclined to think that these badasses may be onto something.On their sophomore disc, Anechoic delivers an album of solid, skillful instrumentals. At the core is guitarist John Lima and drummer Peter Scartabello. Some cello and clarinet are thrown into the mix as well, to good effect. The album moves between atmospheric, freeform sounds and more concrete syncopated styles that seem positively jazz-like. The tracks “Deathstar Gamma Burst” and “Aqueous Suspension” in particular revolve around extremely tight rhythms and arrangements. Coincidentally, these are the tracks where the cello and clarinet appear.The rhythmic tracks are good, but to me, the best songs on the disc are the looser sounding ones where the group gets back to its drum and guitar core. Anechoic does a great job juxtaposing dissonant guitars against bursts of both heavy and ethereal percussion sounds. On the last two tracks of the album in particular you can sense this chemistry between the players. I think I would have liked to have heard more of these freeform types of songs from Anechoic, but I can’t deny that both the chaotic and controlled sounds are good listening.”

-Matt Blackall, FOXY DIGITALIS

“Anechoic is another guitar and drums duo, comprising Peter Scartabello and John Lima, although (in distinction to the above) I sense that their Leng Jin CD (YUGGOTH RECORDS 009) may veer more towards windy and spacey avant-rock with a vaguely dark vibe, as suggested by titles like ‘Deathstar Gamma Burst’. However, they’re from the ultra-hip Rhode Island (home of Lightning Bolt) and their record label name is something H P Lovecraft would savour as he mouthed it with his thin, pale lips.”