Iron Fist Magazine

INTO BATTLE: TAURUS

“Through repetition and space, we have a tendency to create anticipation for a climax that never arrives,” says Taurus of the sickening unease that permeates the entirety of their full-length debut, ‘No/Thing’. Cut to two-inch tape by Billy Anderson and self-released in a number of unique physical guises, the psychoactive terror trip of ‘No/Thing’ is, according to the Portland-based duo of Stevie Floyd and Ashley Spungin, a means of “translating a live ritual to a recording rather than a recording to live.”

The band ritualise experimental doom/black/death metal along with Arabic scales, spoken-word samples of inspirational women to Taurus (which includes Gangaji, Delia Derbyshire, Yayoi Kusama, and Lisa Gerrard), and lysergic Krautrock-inspired loops created to pierce your third eye. “The goal is to create music that challenges and stimulates our mind and body in a new way,” says Taurus. “Our inspirations stem from where science and nature meet, traditional music, Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’, the Kabbalah, the present moment… as well as Death, Immolation, Blut Aus Nord, Tangerine Dream, Dead Can Dance, Goblin, Swans, Leviathan… the list goes on.”

Speaking of Leviathan, Wrest guests on album closer ‘Receed’, a freeform piece written in the studio and heavy on the horror-thump of a Hammond organ and off-kilter drum loops. “Wrest is and has been one of Stevie’s deepest influences for over a decade, as well as her eternal life partner,” explains Taurus of how Wrest’s unnerving contribution to ‘Receed’ came about. “He has an immense vocal range that we wanted to use specifically for this song, [as] ‘Receed’ is the conclusion to the record, and all themes that lie within. Our [themes] come from a place of simplicity: impermanence; meditating on nothing; presence; solitude. Taurus is personal – it’s not designed for the feelings of others.”