Other is one part classic Lustmord: amped-up ultra-low rumbles and echoey field recordings, crazed radioactive zombie howls lost in a post-apocalyptic fog of dust and ice. This is music as geography, creating a landscape for the imagination to run wild in. Yet Other is distinguished from Lustmord’s wholesale ambient recordings by the heavy guitar presence provided by King Buzzo (Melvins), Adam Jones (Tool) and Aaron Turner (Isis). Towards the end of 22-minute centerpiece “Godeater,” the hoary rockers start casting shadowy doom-shapes, which gradually evolve into some crunchier riff action in the following track, while Lustmord’s ambient ghosts continue haunt the surrounding sound-space.
The addition of guitars pushes Lustmord’s music more towards traditional forms, lending rhythmic impetus and melodic interest, hauling it out of its spooked ambient terrain and thrusting it into a “metal” context. However, tying the music to such earthly forms inevitably dampens its ability to evoke other worlds. How are we supposed to traverse the battle-scarred and desolate wastes of the planet Narb’kuk when the vision of some long-haired metaller keeps popping up and getting in the way?
Surprisingly there is very little (to my ear) electronic processing of the guitars. A load of reverb, a smidge of delay here and there but nothing that really transforms the guitar sound into something wholly Other. Heavy processing would of course provide a way out of the trappings of a recognizably-metal guitar sound. Still, there’s no reason why Lustmord would necessarily want to do such a thing, besides the fact that I personally might like the music a little more if he did. No doubt serious doom-heads will get big kicks from the six-stringed sludge embedded in Lustmord’s sci-fi Gothic sound-worlds. Just if you’re looking for a passport to alien dimensions, Other won’t provide it quite as efficiently as other Lustmord releases.