Something is amiss in the world of Alpine Decline. Just months after releasing their sophomore album “Visualizations”, the band returned to M. Geddes Gengras’s Green Machines studio in East Los Angeles to record “消失/DISAPPEARANCE”. Whereas the previous album found the duo wandering through some ghost world without a map, on “消失/DISAPPEARANCE” they are in control, pulling you down by your ankles into their deep deep sleep. Opening track “The Anesthesiologist” twists radically from bone-crushing guitar and drums into a warped brain-burning seven minute dronescape. When it finally lets you get up, brush yourself off and look around, you are undeniably in uncharted territory.
Haunting melodies, vocals that flutter in the ripples of a gas leak, cryptic guitars, bleeding synthesizers, and hypnotic drumming combine into something both headphone-ready and made to make you move. This is rock music for the mythically inclined. “An Accident” and “Now You Believe in Vanishing” are radio singles for an FM that never existed, and the band fearlessly steer the ship into the polyrhythmic got-down-on-the-one bump of “The Other Side” and the strobed-out hypnosis of album closer “Frontier Religion”. By now, putting on an Alpine Decline album has become a kind of ritual passage, stepping into a space both instantly familiar and completely otherworldly, but when the tape reels stop spinning and the machines cool down, the band is nowhere to be found. Before the album hit the pressing plant, Alpine Decline themselves had disappeared, not to resurface again for almost a year in the rubble and chaos on the outskirts of Beijing.