Coming from a duo who routinely release multi-disc albums that often include raga-influenced drones stretching well past the 20-minute mark, the most immediately striking thing about Parisian psych-folk duo Natural Snow Buildings' 2015 album Terror's Horns is its brevity. The 45-minute album fits on exactly one CD or one vinyl LP. The album also has much cleaner production values than previous recordings. NSB still construct intoxicating walls of sound, but here everything sounds much sharper. A bit of the muddy haze has been cleared out, allowing their instruments to resonate like never before. Most of the album's eight tracks are bite-sized, creating a captivating mood and then fading out after a few minutes and moving on. Two lengthier pieces on the album demonstrate NSB's skill for creating entrancing drone-folk while taking advantage of the duo's newfound clarity. "King in Yellow" misleadingly begins as a hissy, lo-fi folk song, veiling Solange Gularte's Vashti Bunyan-like vocals with static, before evolving into a slow-moving doom-drone. "The Rising Portal" is another dense, glacial long-form drone, blending several layers of strings and horns into a glorious, majestic mass of sound. Even with its concise length, Terror's Horns is an intense listen, and it's easily the best way for newcomers to get acquainted with the vast, overwhelming discography of Natural Snow Buildings. ~ Paul Simpson
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