Ben Chatwin’s Talvihorros leads the split with a certain classical-tinged post rock, beautifully mixing Godspeed’s hopeful dirges with Ben Frost’s elegiac despair. Over the course of “From Within a Hollow Body” (split into two roughly 15-minute parts), Chatwin slowly layers sinister chords and crackling touches to paint a mournful painting of overwrought gestures. Heartbreaking stuff. Part Two in particle decays slowly over several minutes, coming immediately after the piece’s climax collapses. Talvihorros is venturing some serious ground here. Other acts in the same breed are quick to dwell in static or banal genre pitfalls, but this piece is consciously heading in another direction.
Damian Valles’ “Hollow Earth Theory” comprises the other half here with an exercise in absolute minimalism. The piece is high concept, almost coming off like a field recording or found sound. For the first few minutes, Valles methodically sets up his acoustic guitar as though he’s just hit record adds sat down to warm up. Dark movements and deep tones come out of nowhere, filling in the blank spaces with brooding colors and gestures. Reality begins to shift and your perceptions are altered as slight guitar plucks are processed and blur out of focus. The line between live edits and post-recording edits is completely blurred. Moments of near silence come and go as they please, disregarding the listener’s presence. Throughout the remainder of the patiently paced piece, Valles pulls only the most necessary touches of various instruments from his sonic palette for a mesmerizing, ominous drone. Great stuff indeed.