Review: Lonely Water – Après Nous, le Déluge (self-released, Jan 17)

If you’ve somehow managed to keep your cognitive functions intact while in the throes of her majesty Charybdis, Après Nous, le Déluge is a pretty close approximation of what you’d hear once she’s swallowed you whole. The newest release from UK south coast project Lonely Water joins the recently NNM-reviewed Galeophobia in an elusive tradition of mortally fractured, gutted aquatics, each an abrasive manifestation of both the unfathomable expanse of the ocean and the brutal immediacy of its many horrors. The four parts that comprise Après Nous, le Déluge can be confidently classified as static noise, a distinct element that introduces something new to the dialogue. Part one sears like a seashell frying pan filled with salt water, bursting forth with a forceful but ultimately lifeless current, at once violent and indifferent in much the same way as the giga-tons of pressure folding your paper skeleton in half over and over and over. After that we descend even deeper; part two is even more anemic than the first, and ends with a purposeful bout of silence that serves as a chilling transition to the volatile, haunted fissure-flares of III. There’s even more silence following the relatively short section, and then the looming swarm of grotesque bottom-feeders takes full control as IV tears into existence, its field-filling lushness the sound of kelp corpses absorbing the life force bubbling off your soggy dead flesh. As the artist themselves says, “Volume high for suffocation. Volume low for meditation.” But to be honest, I’m fine with both at once.