Digging: Rakhim – Crimson Umbrella

Rakhim: Crimson Umbrella
20 Buck Spin (2007)

This was one of those awesome, out-of–the-blue bargain finds. I was scavenging at a CD & Record fair in Prahran recently, when I spotted some very Black Metal looking cover art amongst the second hand copies of Southern Sons and 1927 albums. Rakhim? Never heard of ‘em. Oh, it features members of Circle? And it’s on the 20 Buck Spin label? I’ve had good experiences with 20 Buck Spin and this cd is going for $6, so fuck it I’ll take it. Besides it cracks me up that the name of this scary looking band makes me think of Eric B and Rakim.

Holy crap, I scored well. Two tracks, spanning 31 minutes of blackened drone, Wolf Eyes styled clutter, and sporadic drums that remind of Boris and Sunn O)))’s Altar. This is far, far removed from Circle’s experimental take on classic Metal. Rakhim digs into Northern Europe’s Black Metal roots and spews up something more like Black Boned Angel. This isn’t about corpse paint, blast beats and icy riffs – the sound is improvised and cinematic, almost Double Leopards-ish at times.

Layers of FX affected vocals moan away in dusty corners, jazzy drum fills crank up and then fizzle away into the darkness, instruments of torture rattle and clank, blown out and low slung guitars murmur into the mix before disappearing. Crimson Umbrella is terrifying but awesome. Go find yourself a copy.

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