6.13.19 by Ryan Masteller
Oh, I was so SCARED there for a minute! The text on this tape by Vague Voices looked like black metal text, and just braced myself for the onslaught for no apparent reason. So despite the fact that black metal certainly informed the work of the duo (Stefan Bachvarov and Angel Simitchiev), there isn’t any yelling or those infernal blast beats that get the cat all agitated so that he goes under the couch and doesn’t come out until I turn off the black metal.
Actually, I like black metal, and that’s a game the cat and I play.
I don’t have a cat.
All honesty aside, “Гробник” is still a creepy ride, just a slow and synthy one down the demonic passageways of dangerous video games. In fact, “Гробник” was commissioned for “Sofia Game Night 2018 – an even dedicated to gaming culture.” Bachvarov and Simitchiev were so taken by the result that they expanded their collaboration and dropped this nightmare of an atmospheric drone tape, synthesizers soundtracking horrifying happenings deep in the woods late at night. Or maybe it’s an alternative soundtrack to “Doom.” What do I know? What I DO know is that “Гробник” is “an old Bulgarian word meanings an elderly person approaching their death, a mythical vampire-like creature, or а grave-digger.” So probably more along the lines of the forest horror.
These ten pieces evoke nefarious dread at every moment, the level of which depends on how vile the deeds are that happen during the track. So “Гробник” plays like an anthology film, a “Black Mirror”/“Twilight Zone”/Brothers Grimm homage, but with super cool synth gear. I would suggest picking one up from Amek Collective, but they’ve sold out their run of 77 already. Looks like it’s to depths of Discogs with you, doomed pilgrim!