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TREES (Freed Of This Flesh) CD

With their second album on Crucial Blast, Portland's TREES continue on their path of sonic destruction. Like on their debut album 'Lights Bane', 'Freed Of This Flesh' consists of only two monstrous tracks, clocking in at a running time between 13 and 15 minutes. More specifically, both tracks are actually constructs made of feedback drones, mammoth riffs, raw black metal-ish vocals and a few isolated drum strokes. There are no grooves or hooks, but only deformed structures resulting from stringing together dreary riffs held together by swirling noise. Once in a while they sound like they might get the slightest bit more melodic, and do not. 'Freed Of This Flesh' is totally oppressive and without a shred of remorse or a shaft of light.

It is still legitimate to compare them with Khanate or Swans even though TREES tend to create a more ambient-like, aural atmosphere. Particularly during the second track 'Ashes' they manage to compress all the different sounds to a thick mass. Depending on the mood in which you're in, it could be a relaxing or a stressful expierence for the listener, but it is obvious that TREES are polarizing people. For my part, I like their unfriendly and gruff soundscapes, even if I don't listen very often to 'Freed Of This Flesh'. However sometimes this is the right album for the next misanthropic day. TREES' extremely slow, skeletonized heaviness is black as tar and definitely not for most tastes, but if you love extreme music then you should note the band's name. Venture at your own risk.