DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)
Cleveland, OH mainstays SHADOWS is David Russell and Wyatt Howland (and at least for this release are assisted via the sonics of Roman J. Leyva) crafting their dark, horrific, take on the legacy/story of Batman through mastered techniques of harsh noise, drone, percussion and dynamic mixing and editing techniques. The sound of SHADOWS seems go evolve with every release and “Knight’s End” is no different. Beginning with a murky, distorted rhythm we are quickly whisked away into a harsh symphony of ringing, clanging, scraping; attack on the ear and the “fearless”? The sound of shadows is physically manifested through the black clad, pointed eared upside down man of the night. “KnightsEnd” fuses longer drone sections, which contain a rather cinematic arch to their presentation, slowly beginning as a low, slow sine wave and over the course of a few minutes, escalate into a cavernous, yet detailed sonic explosion of harsh noise, voice, and percussion, a masterfully blended evil sonic stew leaving the listener with a tense, uneasy feeling, which for my ear canal is just perfect.
.The B side “KnightQuest” follows a similar compositional format, beginning with stark, alienating percussion, resembling the swaying of an old, cursed sinking ship with hundreds of piezos placed within it’s weakest structural support system and signing a hum of the druid through mangled cassette tape, as it creaks and rips apart all whilst bombs fall from an unknown sky above. We hear a parade of dissonant sounds slowly dragging themselves closer and farther away to the ear canal, like a slow, pulsing infectious disease spreading through an unknown human cavity, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The blending of all of the different sonic elements that compose the sound of SHADOWS is perhaps one of their strongest elements as the tension seems to build throughout in a subtle, yet important way, dragging us down and down into the sea of sonic mayhem until the last air bubble pops at the surface, the ship has sank, their are no survivors, only the harsh, alienating tortured sounds of Shadows “Knight’s End” As of the time of this review, according to the label’s bandcamp page there’s just, ONE copy left and you should GO HERE AND BUY IT.