Romulus & Remus?
Some empires are vast and expansive gobbling up all in their wake. The once dominant Roman Empire was not all that different from today’s super-corporations. Everything possible was acquired assimilated and united under the same prominent flag. The same cannot be said of the ever flourishing Melvins and their recent union with Graeme Revell collaborator/SPK member/ambient composer Lustmord Pigs of the Roman Empire. The results, although creepily impressive, do not quite gel in the peanut butter and jelly way one might hope.
The songs alternate from spooky ambient gusts of patient electronic noise (“III” and “ZZZZ Best”) to sludge metal stompers (“The Bloated Pope” and “Safety Third”) literally from track to track. The exception is the monstrous twenty-minute plus title track, which aurally is dense with staticy ambience and tension filled drones and bleeps. The piece stalks forward with several starts and stops intermittently adding prime Melvins riffs before fading back to haunting near silent slow burns of oscillating noise. Upon completion it’s eerily evocative in a cinematic way of a lushly shot horror movie.
Special credit is deserved for the excellent (and curiously mixed) mosh-fest “Pink Bat” which showcases incredible guitar solos. Dale Crover, King Buzzo and Kevin Rutmanis of the Melvins have made their career on a consistent unfaltering delivery of quality daring material, and this release also featuring David “Scott” Stone and Adam Jones, is no different. The marriage of the Melvins and Lustmord, however, is a unique blending but far from a perfect concoction. For better results see the spectacular seamless fourteen-minute opus that Tool and the Melvins did together on the song “Divorced” from the 2000 album The Crybaby.