ASVA & PHILIPPE PETIT -  Empires Should Burn….   (CD Basses frequences)

To hell and back again. The first track on Empires should burn is a 20+ minute trip through the darkest corners of hell, and this track alone already justifies buying the record. Legendary Pink Dots frontman Kaspell lends his voice to elaborate on spooky tales and nightmarish visions and no one probably would fit better in that role. Empires Should Burn... is a collaboration between Asva and Philippe Petit and some prominent guest vocalists. Asva was formed in the early 2000’s by Sunn O)))’s bass player G. Stuart Dahlquist. Petit is a French composer, with a long spanning musical career, who started to publish his own colourful soundscapes in 2005 and is still bursting with inspiration seeing his impressive output (often with the creme-de-la-creme of the underground) during the last 7 years.  

Playing together was a good choice, there seems to be some chemistry at work which makes it sounding coherent, and the dark places created (helped by Ka-spell and Jarboe) make all the infernos the records’ title promises come true. As Asva, Dahlquist compromises on monotony and sub-bass, at least a bit and Petit’s renditions are somewhat less playful, less collage-form than normal, and with the both of them stepping a little bit out of their comfort zone, the result is sounding more mature.     

This is not a comfortable work and the overall atmosphere that this record breathes, metaphorically speaking, very strongly brings the work of the Swiss artist H.R. Giger into mind. This would be the perfect soundtrack to the biomechanical post apocalyptic scenery. Not so much the hidden eroticism, but more the signs that things have changed irreversibly, and not in a good way. The organically growing horror scenery one can hear during the tracks develop is perfectly accompanied by Kaspell’s dark prophecies and Jarboe’s resigned revelations. The organ loop that forms the Apocryphatic Ally manages to still sends shivers down my spine, every time it concludes the record. PvdG.