Saltas – Currents [Cassette] (2018) REVIEW

As folks reeling from Irkallian Oracle‘s primal-sledged death metal and Heavydeath‘s space-faring death/doom barely contain themselves in the throes of withdrawals so appears Saltas. Ready yourselves for penetrative rituals of bone dust and rippling feedback as Saltas‘ growling death/doom vibrations prepare to loosen shit from bowels and wax from ears alike. Two specific rituals were prepared months previous in readiness for a full-length and the first is the most cavernous and ringing in the form of ‘Currents’. I immediately recognized the guitar tone of this first demo’s abominable, esoteric rumble between the ears as N.R. (Nicholas Rudolfsson) best known for Runemagick. The deep-set grooves of his guitar sound in Saltas relate lightly with the overall cursed lurch of Heavydeath.

On a more accurate tip, the funereal presence of The Funeral Orchestra‘s funeral doomed scowling is felt here along with the shiftlessly tribal kick-and-tumble of avant-death minimalist C.J. from the Irkallian Oracle collective. The sluggish, shaking stumble of Saltas gives ‘Currents’ a foreboding ulterior presence, at once menacing but completely unreal in it’s distantly howling voice. The cacophony of feedback-wrought guitar performance resounds with impossibly thick waves of direction; the guitar seems to shape the air around it’s possessed and overloaded electronic being. The drum performance are the shamblings of the possessed, made to move in unison with zombie-like stomping of ritual-sickened devotees, stripped carefully of flesh and carved deep with branded marks of indecipherable occult orders. And really that is only the first fifteen minutes or so.

Much like the Heavydeath demos I found myself bewildered by the overdriven and spiraling performances of N.R., additionally, the simple drum performances on ‘Currents’ provide a captivating, almost tribal-ritualistic feeling. It is a slightly obscured and stripped down recording with a compellingly stark vibe. I can see how they were developing their structures on this more minimalist first demo. On Saltas‘ second demo ‘Parasites’ the guitar sound is given more layers and the tape develops their sound more. ‘Currents’ is the sound of concept shaped slowly into songs and a band finding their rhythms of being. It achieves proof of concept without excessive layers or studio tricks and feels rawly sinister as a result. Though the band will soon release ‘Nausea’, which culminates a refiined vision of the sessions leading up to it, I’ve found their first two demos both psychedelic and texturally redeeming in their own right and ‘Currents’ is the noisier, more ghoulish of the first two tapes. Definitely a strong introduction to an exciting new death/doom project from two Swedish musicians known for experimentation and innovation.


Artist Saltas
Type EP / Demo
Released January 17, 2018 [Digital] | March 1, 2018 [Cassette]
BUY/LISTEN on Nuclear War Now Productions Bandcamp! Official Saltas Website

Unearthing abyss fed horrors. 3.5/5.0

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