Hailing from Edinburgh but immersed in the same shroud of darkness as Demdike Stare, Andy Stott circa 2011 and their peers on Blackest Ever Black, Young Hunting aren't the sort of band you'll want to throw on before bed, assuming you have any interest in getting some sleep. Their Blackest Ever Black debut has a cleaner, more refined sound than 2010's Attachment in a Child and the Subsequent Condition, but the higher production values certainly don't translate into music any less psychically penetrating. The most palpable addition is a string section recorded (or sampled and treated) to sound as imposing as possible, forging a sort of undead Soft Bulletin for techno kids.
The EP opens with them swelling to the point of stereophonic claustrophobia, preparing us for the "Embers from the Pyre," a Shackleton-esque tribal dirge set disarmingly in 7/8. "Madness is the persistent belief in one's own hatefulness," observes a female voice scratchy with sorcery; no, not particularly cheerful stuff on offer here, but as the uncertain melody modulates, you may smile at its musicality. "A Hunger Artists" maintains the tribal stomp early before giving away to a woozy orchestral section thick with a chorus of unintelligible voices. "Spiritual Abandonment" begins on something like a hopeful note, though it's quickly abandoned as the fog rolling in thickens, bringing with it pained voices and dissonant electronics. "Entrance from the Carnal Mind," meanwhile, feels synthesized, or perhaps reanimated; the orchestral chords grow medieval, and by the end of the track, Young Hunting sound almost heroic. Regardless, I sense the group has no interesting embracing sunshine anytime soon.
Buy Young Hunting - Night of the Burning at
Tracklist: Young Hunting - Night of the Burning A1 Embers from the Pyre
A2 A Hunger Artist
B1 Spiritual Abandonment
B2 Entrance from the Carnal Mind