A Story of Rats convey darker forces, imaginative possibilities with ‘The Immeasurable Spiral’

We appreciate those moments when we escape from a comfort zone and delve into something completely different. No doubt the bulk of this site is devoted to heavy sounds and morbid darkness, but that can come in many forms. It doesn’t have to contain guitar crunch and vocals that shred throats. It can originate in many places.

So, we don’t find it all that odd to feature two-piece, largely electronic project A Story of Rats, whose new album “The Immeasurable Spiral” is here to bring heavy shadows to your mind. The duo of Daniel Salo­ (piano, synthesizers, timpani, drum programming) and Garek J. Druss (formerly of Atriarch who handles synthesizers, electric organ, vocals, and drum programming) have been creating their sounds for more than a decade now, having released music on their own, as well as a split with Pussygutt (now known as Wolvserpent) and could remind listeners of bands such as Pinkish Black, Dead Can Dance, and aforementioned Atriarch, just with less harsh noise involved. Instead, they immerse you in a sort of dim dream world where you can reach beyond yourself and attempt to understand existence beyond your fingertips. It’s been best consumed by me at night, especially before sleep, because it conjures the strangeness lurking beneath the skin.

“Horn of Silver” is first up on this two-track effort, and its 15:25 are involved and imaginative. The track starts with drum beats encircling, a synth fog moving in, and icy, echoing sounds chilling your bloodstream. Mournful keys create a slowly collecting tidal wave, while talking warbles underneath, and then beams of noise shoot out into the cosmos. Eerie weirdness arrives, as breathy releases pulsate, and a trance-heavy ambiance is achieved, which is ideal for reaching beyond your imagination. Wordless choral sections arrive, and the music heads into drowsy waters, with warbled singing delivering a slurring message, keys zapping, and the song fading into mystery.

“The Calm Lake” runs a healthy 18:13, and it begins with keys floating, and the vocals buried within its cloud. The synth creates an energy beam that blasts through the center, blurring your senses and making it feel like opposing forces are batting for control of your mind. Gentle chimes bring a sense of ease, and the music makes it feel like you’re floating at the middle of the sea, with no land in sight and with you having no choice but to see where the current takes you. Keys re-emerge, as the voices turn to whispers, and the synth pumps goth-style fogs. The music bubbles while the waters build again, and then things speed up, with the drum beats hitting near blast levels. The keys increase their intensity toward a crescendo, while the flood becomes too much to take, and the synth drones out of time.

A Story of Rats’ music lurks beyond metal’s gates for sure, but we’ve all expanded our minds quite a bit the past decade, haven’t we? There are many listeners, especially those from doom and even atmospheric black metal camp, who are bound to be intoxicated by “The Immeasurable Spiral.” Not only does this music give us a chance to expand what this site consumes and brings to you, it also pushes the idea of heaviness into places it doesn’t always tread.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/astoryofrats/

To buy the album, go here: http://psychicviolence.bigcartel.com/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/PSYCHICVIOLENCERECORDS/