Noisy and gloomy band Dusk from Costa Rica is known for their perverse and moody mix of abysmal ambient and harsh industrial beats. Every two years they present a brand new record, offering a dismal journey into insane labyrinths of hellish catacombs. Relics is their third full-length album, released independently on the 1st of April. But it’s not a joke, on the contrary, there’s nothing funny or positive during this record, only penetrating darkness, ritual horrors and chaotic folly.
Dusk is a truly unique band, especially if we examine them through the perspective of metal music. Electro/industrial scene is full of sick and incredibly vicious artists, but even within dark electro genre Dusk is pretty terrific. This music is about atmospheric patterns and different noises, and together it creates a grim fabric of the innermost fears and hopeless despair. The Costa Rican musicians like to play with profound feelings of the darkest nature, using mystic and trancelike soundscapes together with broken rhythms and merciless beats of drum’n’bass subgenre darkstep. This album is really psychotic, full of twitchy moves and gory flows. Like everything it touches, becomes corrupt, profane, full of rotting corpses and smirking demons. And that’s not a bad sign. If you are able to create this kind of eerie atmosphere, then you must live next door to hell. Relics would also be a perfect soundtrack to some scary computer game or a real-life quest. And the truth is, when you listen to this album, it’s not only a soundtrack, it seems like you become the actual hero of this sacrilegious game.
Relics can be perceived as a little bit stiff and primitive – monotonous passages are long and fluid, and the muddy and sludgy rawness sometimes transforms the sound into perimortem cacophony of wails and squalls. But you just go with the stream; the music envelops you into misty intricacy of dark emotions – from pensive numbness to heartbreaking grief. Through the uproar of distorted sounds, it’s still possible to grope the musical construction. Even if Relics isn’t the most melodic and harmonious record in the world, the songs still have their structures, albeit untraditional. And ambient side on this record is as strong as the electro/black metal side. Not so much is left from atmospheric black, but nevertheless, satanic sprit of black metal lingers in the darkest corners of emptiness. There’s nothing light or sacred, here reigns the perpetual night.
The songs don’t have proper names, just the numbers, and this little fact anonymize them, making vulnerable to any personal intervention. The constant horror background of the first track “Relic 1” survives filthy transformation – from bottomless ambient to chaotic and noisy industrial. The gloomy choirs on “Relic 2” reek of deviant church rites with irrelevant twisted plot. The creepy and alarming mood of “Relic 3” slides into melancholic and atmospheric playground, bathed into dark electro elements. “Relic 4” intimidatingly leads us into minimalistic and monotonous industrial frenzy, but there’s also a real reprieve – calm and fragile ambient bridge. And despite rough wall of sound and ear-splitting electro chaos the closing track “Relic 5” has managed to share space with veritable melodic lines in some kind of dreamy manner. The traditional musical instruments (like guitar and bass) are quite audible throughout Relics, but the synthetic beats, samples and other miracles of programming devour them, turning into solid barrier of crashing hullabaloo. And dirty sound seems almost palpable, contaminating your body, your mind and even your soul with the foulest curses of the dark.
Dusk belongs to an underground scene, this music is too complicated and doesn’t provide with a tiny bit of relaxation to be accepted as something mainstream. No doubt, the musicians of this project were aware of it from the beginning, yet they have chosen this path in order to preach their inner darkness through the noisiest and the most wretched forms of art. Atrociously sombre and ritually sick, like the medieval inspired cover art with alchemical allusions, Relics balances on a precipice, full of agonizing nightmares.
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