[sic] Magazine

Dead Sea Apes – The Free Territory

Easy come, easy go. Almost entirely instrumental Manchester trio Dead Sea Apes have only recently begun experimenting with vocals and now, on new album The Free Territory – whoosh – they’re gone again. Letting the music do the talking once more after local poet Adam Stone dominated on punky previous album Warheads, here the mood is slow and low, experimental drones the despondent dish of the day. Some way then from the heavy, chugging dub of recent times and featuring, in part, Nik Rayne of The Myrrors who guests on a couple of tracks, The Free Territory is an exploration of darkness and light, spending its lengthy time split between the yin of destructive distortion and the yang of cosmic ambience.

In generous portions thus flow coruscated, slo-mo doom loops that spin out to endurance rock of such proportions they’d even make Dylan Carlson of Earth think twice. To sooth the burn comes gently pulsing tape-deck hiss and treacly, wah-strangled Eastern drones. The mammoth title-track in turn starts less oppressively in acoustic strumming, but it compensates immediately by being infinitely more melancholy. A slow pan over irradiated wasteland where there used to be an abundance of life, it’s total decay, dirty bass tip-toeing into the mix to later be crashed by blatant noise. Better than any spa weekend to unblock those chakras though then arrives “Sub Rosa” with its wonderfully zen guitar and chime patterning. The Free Territory is an album that resets the clocks: a rebirth for Dead Sea Apes and a year-zero for their music.

Best track: “Diaspora”

~The Free Territory is released May 17th 2019 via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records.~