By Mike Beggs
The bleak landscapes filling the 16-page book album case set the scene for 'Billion’ - cliff-faces, alien badlands and stark rocky snowfields. The music is just as unforgiving. It’s moody, and all those moods are dark and violent. Relentless pounding rhythms are the anchor for electronic menace and punishing sheets of processed guitar. This is instrumental ambient metal - not the soft-loud dynamic of HDU or Mogwai, it’s loud most of the time. In Erathem Phi an ominous bassline gives way to a klaxon-whine melody, before breaking in again and building to a maelstrom. In another stand-out track Badlands, a mournful piano line is led into a thundering noise assault and out the other side. 'Billion’ follows 1999’s 'Looming’ and its remix EP, 'Illooming’, from 2001. Avotor’s earlier music has featured on NZ TV and the film The Irrefutable Truth About Demons. This album sounds like the soundtrack to some sci-fi war epic. Out on Midium.