Self-styled exponents of Music of Bleak Origin – their name comprises three different ways to say “death” – AJ Cookson and Matthew Rozeik’s previous albums drew the acclaim of Steven Wilson, who appraised their doomy, heavy-duty synthtronica thus: “Imagine Trent Reznor producing Sunn O))).”
The Capsule sees the pair take a turn for the abstract, largely eschewing beats and guitar riffs for an eerie illbience best exemplified by the track Moonstar, which conjures a collapsing black hole, perhaps, a dystopian future-world enshrouded by a noxious gloom, or the creeping claustrophobia you might experience in a space capsule in deep space. Think John Carpenter’s soundtracks – notably, Dark Star and The Fog – for some idea of its disturbing drone-scape.
These are timeless, placeless instrumentals: In Waves could be any electronic group from 1977 onwards, from New York’s Suicide to Sheffield’s Warp. Mono/Serum features a looped siren wail from a distant, dying star, and a low, ominous rumble, like the huge slow-motion gait of something massive and mechanical from the 25th century. Crux is electronic music, but not for dancing, nor for background use. Upfront and foreboding, it’s not brutal, but it’s certainly baleful.