[reviews] afe048lcd
bestia centauri: the antediluvian earth

industrial nation []
magazine, usa, 2003

Bestia Centauri’s first sonic endeavor, “Ubbo-Sathla,” was this reviewer’s favorite release from 2002. The audacious sounds that uncoiled from the cosmic ether on that disc were both outlandish and original.

As a follow-up, “The Antediluvian Earth” is nothing less than awe-inspiring, expanding and refining without losing the wild edge, just honing it, giving it a more focused sheen. The title track sonically posits the birth of the earth, a slowly simmering (bubbling, gurgling) genesis, concentrated roiling electronics and electro-acoustic phenomena that constantly flows, presenting in its wake unbelievable sounds.

Ever-shifting tones and tumultuous timbres surge forth, climbing cloud-swathed peaks, plummeting into abyssal valleys; squiggly life squirms out of the primordial ooze, only to be accosted by creatures of ambiguous origin and imagination, Lovecraftian gods culled from the deepest chasms of space and time, etching weird audio insignias across the malleable plains.

The fast-forward growth of crystals in a darkened harbor chime uneasily; undefined life clusters together before scattering like blackened confetti across the barren heavens; throaty intonations suggest communication, reticular strands that disintegrate before translation; there’s even a sequence that hints at relations with the monolith from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Atavistic electronic insects chatter in tinny clattering nuances during “Ambulant Shadows,” surfing lava waves, combusting at the presence of such intense heat, snapping, spiraling and popping across a brooding horizon. Bony mandibles masticate the sonic textures of “Beneath Exsanguinated Suns,” while scrubbing tones slither about like quickly moving metallic snakes, and everything has a dual pushing forward/pulling back feel amidst the harsh sighs of metal and liquid electricity.

The metallic foundation of “The Measureless From Caverns Rise” seems about to crumble at every turn, groaning and flailing, unsteadily alive. Spires sing, sounds caress the smooth, polished architecture, up and down, emitting sounds that echo and screech to the skies, or rumble in the belly of the impossible, before sinking into the subterranean, water as entity, massaging rust off of writhing pipes.

Again, as with much of the work of Bestia Centauri, Lovecraft is a reference point, though only as a guidepost for the intensely speculative sonic offerings here. “The Antediluvian Earth” does not inspire passive listening: opening one’s mind is paramount to fantastical revelations.

Bestia Centauri creates sound worlds few sonic explorers (Inade… Heath Yonaites…) can even imagine; limited to 150 CD-R copies, by all means, seek this out!

[JC Smith]