26 Feb 2017

0 The Experiment: "Simplifying a Demon"

Experimental droplets of rain from a darkened cloud of mediocrity
Whenever a project labeled "drone" appears, my warning bells start ringing, as much too often the drone label has been used as a cloak for lazy songwriting, blaspheming against acts like Boris and Sunn O))). Supposedly the idea behind 0 The Experiment is seeing how far you can take music with just a bass. Though undoubtedly the result of long sessions of in-depth research and analysis - a daring and well-thought through hypothesis indeed - the answer to this conundrum seems to be "not very far".

Most of what the Symplifying a Demon album presents might as well have been a guitar. The bass is disguised behind a veil of treble distortion, sometimes accompanied by pseudo-jazzy bass fiddling, the bulk of the work presented bearing a more striking resemblance to bedroom black metal rather than drone. Add to this concoction the weak-natured vocals, and you've got yourself a looooong boring album.

"finicky threads of that classic black metal sound finds its way into the mix..."

0 The Experiment affiliates itself with tags such as drone, black metal, minimalistic and experimental, and indeed there are tracks that are veritable feasts of reverb and distortion delivered in an appropriate wall-of-noise fashion. And like mentioned earlier, finicky threads of that classic black metal sound finds its way into the mix at times. Yet however minimalistic the presentation is, The Experiment simply doesn't sound very experimental. There is hardly anything avant-garde in a guy rubbing out some mediocre basslines to unengaging lyrics and unending wads of boring drones.

Simplifying a Demon is really basic stuff, and 0 The Experiment simply lacks both ambiance and aesthetic without replacing either with anything. Looks like the ol' warning bells were right. But then, in the midst of all this harrowing mediocrity, comes the two final tracks; Demon and Ritual to Nothingness. The latter portrays an entrancing feel of cosmic psychedelia while still maintaining an odious core of something a bit more sinister hidden away in the background, while the former feels like a downright study in the bass' capabilities as a more analog counterpart to the synthesizer, bringing to mind some of Burzum's finer works in mixing black metal and ambiance.

Those two tracks feel like just what 0 The Experiment set out to do; Prove the diversity of the bass as a versatile instrument, but the same just cannot be said for the rest of the album, which in contrast with the two final compositions feel like filler made to warrant calling Simplifying a Demon an album rather than an EP. It baffles me that the rest of the album is such a mess of coma-inducing tripe. In the end 0 The Experiment shows that, yes, in the modern world of music the bass is quite versatile. He only shows it quite poorly for the most part.


Released in 2013 independently


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