Several years ago, I watched an Author & Punisher concert at that year’s Incubate festival. Although it was not a metal act, loads of metalheads were headbanging to A&P’s music. For me, it was that first time that a bridge between electronic music and doom metal was built. Needless to say that I was highly impressed by what I heard. Since then, I’ve been digging into the world of drones and beats and apparently that dig comes to a massive highlight here.

Refectori is an industrial act from Barcelona, Spain. According to the facebook page, this act was formed in 1913, which would probably make this the oldest electronic music act in the world. It could also mean that whoever made that page made a little mistake or joke. Nonetheless, what I hear on this ep is quite impressive, reminding me of a very dark Autechre maybe, or Fis, or Scorn or Raime. Those are some nice names to be compared with, and Refectori ever goes a lot deeper and gloomier than them.

Opener ‘Corba Praxitel·liana’ and follower ‘Panteix Agònic’ are massive pieces of work where drones and deep electronic percussion create haunted sonic landscapes. When played loud, these drones almost physically touch you, making the whole an overwhelming experience for body and mind. ‘Caça de l’Home’ and ‘Mà’ follow that approach, be it a bit friendlier and nudging towards the ritual dark ambient scene. In that aspect I’m often reminded of Karjalan Sissit or Deutsch Nepal for example.

For those who wonder, a refectory is a dining room in a monastery. The word comes from the Latin word ‘Refectorium’, which means ‘a place one goes to be restored’. I can easily see the connection with this bandname and the music. Stuff like this is created during music making rituals where the artist tries to exorcise his demons and revive himself through deep, droning frequencies. Why I know? Simple, I do it myself.

While we close with the screaming ‘Natura Morta’, I have to decide that this is an awe-inspiring album and a certain highlight in whatever genre this is. This is already going into my (everchanging) best of 1916 list (haha). Check it out, play it loud, in the end you won’t be needing all those lungs and other intestines on the path to dark enlightenment.

Serge

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