Svisselsant - Svisselsant (Big Bovine Industrial Wastes)

An overlooked release on an overlooked label—if you want to call Big Bovine Industrial Wastes a label, for housing Travis Minnick's various brain children. With Svisselsant, he leads another one-man bedroom act under the kvlty moniker 'Collector,' which is significant, given the self-titled demo’s commitment to a more traditional sense of black metal (BM). The debut arrived on Bandcamp the same day as another more celebrated Big Bovine demo by Kaldeket, whose post-metropolitan psychedelia I’ll let one of my capable mutant peers cook up in a dish of its own. Though not as showy or as heady as VitiateSvisselsant is worth your time in no small part because of its more inside-baseball exposé of BM's well-worn aesthetic. Even looking skin-deep at the two demos' covers, Kaldeket's screams, 'this is not just black metal,' whereas Svisselsant's takes a few glances to realize it's not just another harshly lit inset of some dude in corpse paint. I still don't know what the blue-tinted subject is peering down at, exactly, if it's not a crudely pasted-on head from some decomposing portrait.

But let's talk about the music and its deceptive heteroglossia. On the one hand, the demo sounds like a top-tier contribution to the raw-BM fad, boasting both the stompy charm of Lamp of Murmuur's Heir of Ecliptical Romanticism and the growling tenacity of Nansarunai's Ruins of the Moonlight Temple. Those comparisons alone should say a lot about Svisselsant’s knack, but really, it is this project’s celebration of seemingly alien technologies that turns its cornucopia of BM hooks and blast beats into something more thoughtful and almost avant garde. Without any extra instrumentation (or even the prevalent crutch of horror synths), Minnick's Collector gives credible voice to the subgenre's forgotten relatives in twentieth-century popular culture. Even the most narrow-minded trvb can crack a smile at how Elvis grunts punctuate the teetering race between bass and six-string guitar—and, perhaps, remember hearing that addled motion in Dick Dale's surf-rock exhibitions. Under rented black robes, they can tap their feet and hum along to the infectious melodies on "Yanheda" and Bulnariss," catching snatches of 8- and 24-bit video game themes from their childhood. Most impressive of all, Svisselsant's DIY production affords just enough space for all these esoterica to resonate in a mix that will still sound rad buzzing from your cheapest tape deck. In a lightning-fast eleven minutes, the demo offers a rollicking good time for all ages—that's also black metal through and through. Though not a dazzlingly kaleidoscopic deconstruction a la Kaldeket, Svisselsant's more inward-looking study of BM as collage has real purchase too. It holds special promise for any who want to remember the genre's dingy roots in fake blood and sweaty black denim; in cheap amps and dank basements; and in an intrepid will to make rock 'n roll creepy as all fuck.