We’ve written something about every release so far by the Australian band Ploughshare, whose record titles seem evocative of their world view: the 2017 EP Literature of Piss; the 2018 debut album In Offal, Salvation; and the 2019 EP Tellurian Insurgency. We keep that streak going today with our premiere of “A Horrible and Terrifying Impression” from Ploughshare‘s forthcoming second album, Ingested Burial Ground.
In our previous writings we’ve piled up adjectives in an effort to capture just how viscerally terrorizing Ploughshare‘s genre-splicing music is — “violent, oppressive, and mind-bending” was one such string of words.
And, well, we will try again now, because the new album and the song you’re about to hear are also frightening, but they’re also not mere repetitions of what the band have done before. New weapons have been added to the arsenal of nightmares.
As Ploughshare have themselves explained:
Ingested Burial Ground is an exploration of some of the influences and ideas behind the band that have previously been addressed only in the margins, through using different configurations and instrumentation. All our records, to now, have entailed experimentation in some form. This record perhaps stretches that approach further through using new techniques and tools and playing with sound in new (for us) ways. The intention was to change the approach and force something new to happen while remaining Ploughshare. The lyrics recount a dream sequence, and they were inspired by a novel.
They’ve also explained that there was no single recording session involved with these songs, and that different members of the band did the recordings at various stages throughout the process.
Ploughshare chose “A Horrible and Terrifying Impression” as their way to begin the album, and it does make the impression of an “intro track”. It also quickly reveals the band’s amplified use of harsh noise, mutated industrial components, and ambient melody. It creates a mangling sensation in which distorted scratching and screeching sounds assault the senses over subterranean rumblings, punishing detonations, and a slow percussive rhythm that sounds like someone hammering sheet metal.
Madness reigns in the varying vocals, to make the experience even more unsettling. But on the other hand, strange ethereal tones reverberate in sudden switches away from the rough and ruining main line, and remind us that part of what the album does is recount a dream sequence.
That song is the second one to be disclosed from the new album so far. The first one, “Divulging Bees, Spiders, And Scorpions“, which you can listen to next, is more than twice as long as “A Horrible and Terrifying Impression“.
It’s more frenzied and scathing, as well as more groove-some, than the intro track. Yet, as forecast by the intro piece, a multitude of eerie and ethereal tones again languidly surface and swirl, creating a mysterious and unearthly atmosphere around all the tormented screaming, the hurtling and hammering drumwork, and the backing abrasion, which feels like heavy-grit sandpaper being vigorously applied to your face.
The union of these sensations is strange — how does it feel to be sadistically roughed up, chilled, and spellbound at the same time? While your toes are tapping and your legs are jumping?
Ingested Burial Ground features five initial tracks, followed by a B-side regurgitation of those same offerings, featuring re-imaginings by artists such as Sow Discord (David R. Coen), Alex Macfarlane (Faceless Burial), Ignis Fatuus (Grave Upheaval, Portal), Ascanyx, and Xeno Chemist. It will be released by Brilliant Emperor Records on December 8th, and it’s up for pre-order now.