Given my most read post is about Skullflower's epic Fucked on a Pile of Corpses, I present to you another Matthew Bower project - the newest one, Black Sun Roof.
What discogs.com tells me is that Black Sun Roof is "A project of Samantha Davies and Matthew Bower of Skullflower and Voltigeurs, sometimes joined by Gordon Sharp of Cindytalk." However neither of these two releases say anything about This Gordon Sharp character. Samantha Davies and Bower seem to be constantly in collaboration, whether it's in Skullflower, Voltigeurs, or Valley of Fear. So for them to team up again makes sense - and there does seem to be another element here, maybe that is Gordon, but again I can't say for sure.
Matthew Bower is probably one of my all-time favorite musicians. You name what project, I'll like it most likely. Given that the only project of his I haven't heard is the incredibly rare Sunlayer. Now that Hototogisu is apparently over, and with Skullflower releases still coming sporadically, Bower clearly needs a new musical outlet.
Never one for slowing down or playing safe, Bower's Black Sun Roof project takes off immediately with the first release, Feral. Feral is a grisly chunk of distorted noise, not as loud and aggressive as Skullflower's Fucked on a Pile of Corpses, but definitely in the same realm.
The noise here is a bit more harmonious, crafted, and musical. The beginning track, Shit Slaughter has a theme of "skipping record" with a very short little snippet of a scream on repeat while chaos builds slowly around it. Slowly the chaos overwhelms and destroys everything.
Lions and Peonies is my favorite track, calling back some of the works of Total, with a repetitive core sound, and layer after layer of distortion whirling around it. It's truly an epic song.
Temple of Mithras, even sounds like some of the "shimmering" sounds of Sunroof! and Hototogisu, but with a howling background, and a bass line that those more happy-go-lucky releases never had.
Night Mare's Milk is an easy favorite as well. Some distant bells and hazy noise infiltrate a repeating tune. Good gradual build here. Kind of sounds like a movie soundtrack
Son of the Blue Wolf introduces the only voices (I think) on the release, a clamor of voices in conversation whilst an actual melody builds and another repeating slice is also floating around in there. Awesome.
Shadow of the Golden Fire is an almost ambient track, sounding like a repeating record caught in a groove of damnation and slowly falling apart before you. It's eerie, slightly deeper than the rest of the release.
Feral was also released with a CD of some of Bower's older stuff, and 1 unreleased track. The only songs that are rare on this CD is tracks 2, 3, and 7, depending on how hardcore a collector you are. I would consider 8 also, but it is actually a reworking of "Ornamental Lake of Death" which is also on Wings Over America.
3012 is a completely different release. When I heard Feral, I was glad it was the type of Bower project I like, and not another Sunroof! Temple Music. The shimmery, Hototogisu approach is usually my least favorite of his musical styles, and unfortunately that is what the first couple tracks in 3012 sound like. Granted, they are different enough, they have a static and some banging that would not be present in Temple Music, but all in all very little variation.
The last track, Glassy Penetralia darkens things up a bit with slices of what sounds like tortured machines presenting some very interesting sonic variances. All in all, there is hope for Black Sun Roof (for me, anyway)
I have not heard 4 Black Suns & A Sinister Rainbow. Please look for more reviews coming soon!
1/27/15 update: rereading this, I realize I never actually reviewed all the songs on this release. I still, in fact, have not added My Dark Angel, track 3, because well, I don't have it. Someone send it to me!