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COMBAT ASTRONOMY – TIME DISTORT NINE

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Time Distort Nine, the newest album by Combat Astronomy, will very much demand the attention of any listener who wants a truly unique experience.  The Minnesota trio, brainchild of bassist/guitarist James Huggett, have truly created a sound world of their very own. The band easily evades any potential for genre pigeonholing (via lazy writers) by allowing diverse influences, from free jazz, drone, sludge, ambient and industrial musics to mingle and flow in uncompromising, dynamic fusion across TIME DISTORT NINE’s 12 track double album. The music is constructed by taking relatively minimalist compositions, creating improvisations upon those compositions, and then layering the recorded result with more overdubs.

From minutes of droning noise that creates gritty ambience, to tonal guitar riffs and clarinet melodies, to shrill squeaking bursts of saxophone, the album, which clocks in just under 2 hours, is quite the aural journey. The first half features tracks ranging from 9 to 21 minutes long. This portion of the album seems to slowly flow over and into one and another via the trio’s use of repetitive, but slowly evolving sections (it’s as if they want to make Steve Reich proud). The latter half of the album, features songs that seem to center around repeating metallic riffs as the song lengths begin to shorten, clocking in at between 4 to 8 minutes in length. Songs like “Strange” also feature minimal vocals that segue into heavy, loud and dissonant sections. Here, the slow and simmering attack of Combat Astronomy resembles a happy marriage between 16-17 and Cult of Luna. Despite their metal influences the album rejects aggression and intensity in favor of creating a dramatic atmosphere that would probably appeal more to the free jazz or the avant-garde leaning listener. TIME DISTORT NINE is available for download on the band’s bandcamp profile , and for physical purchase @ Aquarius Records and Wayside Music.

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