This story is over 5 years old.


This Sped-Up Recording of Volcanic Thunder Is the Sickest Drone Demo of 2018

20 minutes of eruption compressed into 20 seconds of sheer hell.

It's no secret that nature is fucking terrifying, and that inalienable principle carries over into every aspect of its existence. When Mother Gaia isn't trying to suffocate us, burn our puny skeletons to a crisp, or swallow us all alive with ocean water in retribution for the way we have ravaged and ruined everything of hers we've slapped our genocidal paws on, she apparently keeps busy laying down some pretty sick beats.


Scientists will often make recordings of natural phenomena for various research-related reasons (and because they probably get bored sometimes hanging out in Antarctica or whatever) and the results can be absolutely chilling. For example, have you ever listened to icebergs melting? Go ahead, try it out. Have fun never sleeping again.

As Atlas Obscura reports, in spring 2017, geophysicists studying the eruption of Bogoslof Island, a mostly submerged volcano that lies in the Pacific Ocean near Alaska, decided to make a field recording to accompany their research. They posted up on a nearly island to record audio of the volcano doing its thing, then sped up the 20 minutes of microphone date up 60 times to make it audible. The result? Volcanic thunder's first demo.

The recording opens with a mushroom cloud of blown-out, booming drone that wouldn't be at all out of place streaming through an Orange amp on an early SUNN 0))) album (or on literally any Striborg-esque raw black metal recording), then segues into a sort of low, ambient clacking sound—the "thunder" itself. The original article refers to it as a "typewriter" noise, but to me, volcanic thunder sounds more like an extremely lackadaisical martial beat lolling atop a menacing rumble, generated by a poorly-programmed drum machine and obscured by a distorted haze.

These ain't the kind of field recording your Mumford & Sons-ass cousin keeps yammering about when you're forced to listen to his shitty solo project to avoid your aunt's wrath. The volcanic thunder track actually shares a lot of similarities with those melting iceberg recordings—there's a kindred sort of distorted, undulating aggression at play. These are aural manifestations of pure primeval evil.

In short, it does sound pretty metal—if the kind of metal you fancy falls more into the "horrible atonal noise" camp than, say, Iron Maiden.

Kim Kelly is watching the world burn on Twitter.