One in a continuing string of split eps on various formats, this nicely presented 10â on Vendetta sees The Austrasian Goat and Hallowed Butchery share a conceptually ambitious release. Unusually for a split release, this one bears a title, âSongs of Self Reliance and Solitudeâ. Indeed, both are solo projects and the lyrics ponder â the label informs us â on âthe moral stance of self-reliance, popularized and preached by the Transcendentalist movement of the 19th-centuryâ. Indeed, there is a tendency towards abstract nouns in The Austrasian Goatâs lyrics (âostracityâ, âobedienceâ, âconformismâ) whereas Hallowed Butcheryâs Ryan Fairfield is more into adjectives (âself-reliantâ, âself-righteousâ) during its programmatic passages. All of which makes for very abstract and sometimes tedious reasoning (âThere is perfect balance always.â â âPyramids are falling under the weight of ambitions.â), which may or may not be in keeping with the subject matter but certainly is a perfect match for the three washed-out doom metal dirges.
Both Fairfield and Julien Louve a.k.a. the Goat contribute to each otherâs tracks, which helps to knit the ep even more closely together. Musically, however, âSongs of Self Reliance and Solitudeâ juxtaposes two distinctive takes on the genre: While the two Austrasian Goat tracks are more in the orthodox âfunerealâ vein and have been correctly compared to Nortt and Celestiial, Hallowed Butchery serves up another prime example of his shoegazing doom epics in âHexagram: The God of Selfâ. Gloriously, he doesnât shy away from an acoustic interlude, while elsewhere manipulated vocals for several voices add space and new perspectives on title and concept. While the whole ep is decent, Iâd rate the Hallowed Butchery side higher. Fairfield continues to be one of the most original players in the field. And while his output is sparse (debut lp in 2009, a demo tape of 20 minutes from 2009/2010, two tracks on a split lp in 2010, this single track from 2011), his quality control appears to be fierce.