Today I'm reviewing the debut album by the Norwegian drone rock duo's debut album. I wasn't familiar with the band before, but my interest was immediately up when I heard that the band says to play drone-music with a bass, Hammond-organs, and a mellotron. It's at least an interesting and unusual set-up. Add to that the oldschool cover image which I found very cool.
But onto the band's musical merits. The band labels themselves as a drone-rock-band on their promo-sheet, which is partially a good definition, but I couldn't find a lot of rock in here. It's mostly distorted and very experimental music. The bass-buzz drones like there was no tomorrow, and the organs sing the same song. There's no drumming to be heard, and leaving 'em out was most likely a smart move since one doesn't long for rhythms from this kind of music. Vocals are also mentioned in the instrument-arsenal, but there's very little of it, and even that miniscule amount is heavily effected.
Elmi's music is very slow and recursive. The distorted bass that's responsible for the so-called rhythm-section isn't hurrying anywhere, making the overall feel as heavy and ominious as possible. Add to that the Hammond-organs and the mellotron to create images of space through their very original sound, and you see that the band's package is pretty well built.
There are some minor complaints too, though. The overall sound could've been thought further. At least I would've lightened the sound a bit as it feels as if all the instruments' volume levels are maxed out. The album suffers from it's overlength, too. Some things would've been better if they were condensed.
As a whole "... From the Ground" is definitely on the plus-side. Elmi has boldly brought their own spices to experimental drone-music. Despite the few complaints, I'm comfortable recommending the album to all friends of noise- and drone-music.