Owl – Into the Absolute (Zeitgeister Music)

Tuesday, 17th June 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Owls are great, especially in this scribe’s happy little home, where his happy little lady went as far as to decorate an entire Christmas tree with nothing but small, stuffed owls. It was a sight to behold. Aside from that, the nocturnal species seem rife for a band name, of which the German duo comprised of Christian Kolf and Patrick Schroeder have adopted. Fittingly playing a more digestible, less ponderous take on the blackened sludge sound, the pair manage to produce a four-song EP of substance in the form of Into the Absolute.

Research into the band’s previous sonic forays indicated Owl’s reliance on long, drawn-out song structures, which to these ears, is generally a convenient way to demonstrate how you can’t write a song. In contrast, Into the Absolute features four tight(er) constructs, kicking out heavier shades (“We Ascend As We Fall”) and surprisingly versatile melodic runs (“Unearthly Arcana”). These cuts have sufficient flow, hoarding the brutish bark of Kolf, as well as his monolithic guitar tone that is rife with clarity and distortion rounds.

Subtract the three-minute ambient jaunt “Apparitions,” and Into the Absolute would probably shoot up the rating ladder. As it stands with this quartet of songs, Owl has the capability to not become yet another bunch of faceless sludge mongrels. With a unique, if not oddly memorable name, and the songs to show, Kolf and Schroeder should be well on their way.

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