Published Jan 28, 2019Marc Richter has taken a turn for the sinister with his latest album as Black to Comm. For over a decade, the artist has been producing ominous drone works, but Seven Horses for Seven Kings is quite possibly the most demonic and most fully realized material he's released thus far. Multiple instruments come together to weave a narrative as horrific as that of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, albeit with a decidedly technology-influenced tinge, redolent with synths and blood-curdling samples.
A swarm of trumpets introduces "Asphodel Mansions," which mutates into the noisy orgy of incubi and succubi shrieks that is "A Miracle No-Mother Child at Your Breast." Here, Richter introduces the mood-darkening drumming that periodically appears throughout the album. The noisy moments — of which there are many — are balanced by moody neo-industrial passages, such as on "Lethe," "Fly on You" and "Semirechye." Strangely, with "Licking the Fig Tree" and "Double Happiness in Temporal Decoy," Richter introduces demonic jazz elements that align him with the likes of Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton.
Seven Horses for Seven Kings is certainly Richter's dark masterpiece. It's got all of the elements of a great horror story: it's both incredibly creepy and undeniably gripping. While there are certainly moments of outright noisy abandon, Richter incorporates enough subtlety and tension into the proceedings to make these diabolical sound sculptures bleed with a raw beauty. (Thrill Jockey)