Ast Voldur – Psychoacoustic Trauma Asylum (Demo/Unsigned)

Three piece Aussie black metal/industrial band whose first demo barely hints at what could come. From the opening moment with the tape leader run in (despite being on a cdr!) this EP had me reminiscing about the tape trading days of yore. But damn, the quality has improved since then!

With only five tracks – technically four plus a 20-second intro – Ast Voldur haven’t given the listener much time to get a grip on their very schizophrenic style.

After that initial 20-second sweep of chrome croon they come out swinging with Mercurial hitting hard, fast and showing an ugly post industrial fear factory type o’ crunch before the ambience and ice cold harshness of Step To your Death With A Smile follows it up.  Slowly building up with keyboards, knob twiddling and vocalist Njal’s muttering, almost paranoid whisper, this track is just bleak, there is no other word for it. But then In Ashes is back to the black with a thrashing drum, snarling vocal and that post industrial hell scream before we find ourselves once again in a wasteland of atmosphere, creaking ships and a lullaby of eternal sleep and misery on the final track Laudanum.

Listing Amon Tobin and Boards Of Canada amongst their influences, this is a band that looks like they might be prepared to take a few chances with their music and not just follow the pack. If this demo is anything to go by, they could really turn into something very interesting.

You never quite knew what you’d get when a tape showed up in the mail, that was the exciting part of it and a demo like this is like striking gold.  Totally unexpected.

The demo is apparently out of stock but in the process of repressing so go to the band's myspace for details.