Bring Me the Head of Orion is one-man drone/doom band with a long name from Texas. Since 2008, the band has made three demos, two EP's and one full-lenght release; sadly, this EP is the only one of these that I've heard. The rather fittingly named "Rend" presents something sweet to those who really fancy Sunn O)))'s "Grimmrobe Demos".
The song starts slowly: only a soft and low synth-like humming sound can be heard, travelling from left to right speaker while slowly pulsatingly changing in volume (and occasionally in pitch). At two minutes a really distorted, vast and heavy-sounding, surprisingly mid-pitch guitar slowly comes way on top of it and starts it's really slow and drony riffing. The riff by the two guitars is actually not a riff at all: after the introductory noises it makes, it's just repeating of a one note slowly (a pick after every 15-20 seconds) while doing some extra droning- and echoing effects with the rather large amount of distortion. In the back of the track one should hear the synth-like bass sound from the beginning doind a basic and slow three-note pattern. The guitars fade out a bit after ten minutes, after which the background sound provides one last echoed note to descend you back to Earth.
Despite the song's above described musical simplicity, it has a really good atmosphere - a surprisingly calm one, too. The amount of guitar distortion doesn't sound violent, it moreso sounds soothing despite it's harshness, and this combined with the repetition and slow pace adds up to a rather trance-inducing whole. The bassy pattern behind the guitars give the song a nice ethereal touch and some variation, deepening the trance and making the song more personal while giving the EP more listening value. "Rend" builds up stylistically and with no haste, making one slowly sink into the song's world, and the rather quick way the song ends in leaves the listener longing to go back to the song's world, making one listen to the song again.
It takes huge an amount of daring to release a track this simple, and also a clear vision to manage to execute it. The song would've had what it takes to be a longer piece if it would've had some slight variation, so it's a shame that the band decided to make it just eleven minutes long. I feel that the song is somewhat going to waste here. One other complaint I have is that the synth-sound is a bit cheap-sounding, and although it delivers the ethereal feeling, it's sound is still a bother in the times when it's audible the most. The guitar execution sounds (understandibly) just slightly fumbling at times, but it's also one of the things that make the riffing stay interesting as it's not too predictable. One must also ask; how long will a track of this kind with this level of simplisticity stay interesting to listen to?
The EP, packaged in rather dull covers, is a good buy to all of you who like harsher ambience or drone/doom overall, or to people who just need to escape from the world and their thoughts for a while. It's not groundbreaking and it could've been executed a bit better, but it's still by all means a good buy.