“This sounds like ketamine.” I am not going to disagree with these incredibly basic, yet truthfully accurate words spoken by a friend of mine upon our first listen of White Ring’s reissued album, Black Earth That Made Me.

White Ring first cropped onto my radar, seconded by their association with Salem, as being regarded co-founders of the ‘most groundbreaking and revolutionary musical movement to take the world by storm in decades’: ‘Witch-House’. This does not exist. It is not a ‘thing’. It is just another utterly ludicrous sub-genre created by PRs to create a bit of a buzz and inevitably create a scene surrounding it. ‘Cold/Dark/Chill/Synth-Wave’ have also been used to classify White Ring’s sound. I stand by my statement.

Ridiculous genres aside, the music can be poetically described as terrifyingly dark throughout. They use deliberately quantised, overly produced hip-hop beats, but at a slow ‘lean-back’ tempo, which shares a similar head-bobbing motion possessed by early dubstep. Thick, gothic synthesisers are layered over the top with creepy female vocals reciting inaudible lyrics. I don’t have a clue what she is singing, but it chills me to the bone...and I like it.

I think it is fair to say that the album is ‘samey’, but that it certainly the intentional artistic direction amongst its creation. You put it on for the sole purpose of “zoning out to some White Ring” (which is probably with some friends in a living room at 5am after a night of debauchery). However, every now and again they do catch you off guard with some unsuspecting flair. For example, ‘Hand 2 Hold U Down’ executes a rolling ‘Blue-Monday’-esque bass drum after luring you into the slow sway of the introductory rhythm.

My personal highlight of the album comes from, ‘Roses’. The pulse goes double time in the ‘chorus’ (if it is even possible to depict conventional sections to this music!) and evokes an element of energy, which did not feature previously up until this point. In addition to the screaming distorted vocals, I can draw an obvious sonic correlation to Crystal Castles, yet exclusively to this section of this individual song.

‘We Rot’ concludes the album and it does so on a very eerie tone that I would sooner like to forget I had ever experienced – through sheer fright rather than distaste. The simplest way to describe this is that it sounds like someone is being violently murdered by strangulation. Then there is a tense ‘Paranormal Activity’ style voice over crackling white noise. Petrifying. I listened to it on my own in a cold, dimly lit room. Not advisable. Not at all.

The overall sound of the album is innovative and, aside from Salem, it is difficult to relate and draw comparisons to other bands or genres, yet I still refuse to admit that ‘Witch-House’ is a ‘thing’. I’m not apologising either. Nevertheless, whatever the heck White Ring is, I am an admirer of it.