Nova Scotian Arms – Cult Spectrum (Digitalis Recordings Digiv035)

Rating: 8/10
When at 60 degrees North there was no snow in January, “Cult Spectrum” seemed appropriate music for dark and bare landscapes of the moment. Having released a cassette on Digitalis two years ago, Nova Scotian Arms presents now somber compositions on their first LP for the label.
Painted black in its essence, the album does not ignore some brighter notes. If we just take the opener “Gathering / Composition”, that carries sort of Arctic flair with chilly winds blowing over the vastness of frozen seas. Clear and oxygenated drones with classical notes, the track sounds in some parts like Innercity in a close-hibernation mode.
After static drag of “Overcast Strumming (1st Delay)” and spherical flows of “Citadel”, a giant of 16 minutes lands with “Emulsion”, where initial glimmering of synthesizers is faded out by agonizing drones and meditative guitar riffs, for crawling through the dark forests of consciousness. “Hearse Overdub (Decomposition)” is an exploding outerlude.
“Cult Spectrum” contains semi-liquid substance that is slowly covering everything in surroundings. After being enthused by two Digitalis releases in 2011, the ones by Ricardo Donoso and KPLR, the first arrival of this year heralds another strong season for the Seattle label – a proof is also the label preview for 2012.

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