Review of Sky Burial's 'Pas the Sarvering Gallack Seas and Flaming Nebyul Eye' from Vital Weekly

A sky burial is a Tibetan funeral ritual wherein a corpse is left atop a mountain to be consumed by vultures and other wildlife – an image that portends Michael Page's uneasy sound experiments. 'Pas The Sarvering...' demonstrates that he is getting serious about his macabrely-named sound project, spreading his efforts across a seventy-plus minute canvas and enlisting the help of several high-profile collaborators – including industrial legend Nigel Ayers (a.k.a. Nocturnal Emissions) and Andrew Grant (a.k.a., grotesquely, The Vomit Arsonist). Whereas many of Obfuscated Records' albums tend toward the big and noisy, this is a distinctly contemplative record. Its most salient (i.e. longest) composition, “The Longest Day Heralds the Darkness to Follow,” is an epic dark ambient track that sounds as though it's been pulled off a yellowed tape from the eighties. On it, a haze of synths is used to evoke an eerie, industrial ambiance, something like the after-hours reverberations of a giant warehouse. Floating in the foreground is a rotation of peripheral sounds: a bouncy electro rhythm kicks around for a time, and at one point the sounds of a piano are haphazardly reversed and dissected. It is a consuming yet wearied track that stands out as the album's main attraction. Elsewhere, 'Vessel' evolves through a variety of textures, toggling between the subterranean and the interstellar, while the title-track submerges a childish music-box melody in a synthesized sludge. But the most distinct composition is the exhilarating opener, which sounds as though it is dragging the listener through an underworld Tunnel of Love, motoring through neon keys, hellish distorted guitar, and an intoxicating final stretch of bagpipes. Page's efforts have paid off – this colossal record may be Obfuscated's finest offering thus far.
 
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