- Austria, UK, Germany
I know, I know – these guys have an album from this year, I just picked a random album from my apple music playlist without any idea who these guys are. I cop a lot of flack for reviewing older albums but guess what! This site is a personal archive!
It started so quiet and gave me little idea and yet I felt oddly emotionally attached to the artwork during this time, which intensified as the calm guitar came in. Still not giving anything away. Then the first punch of the record… the vocals, I love these vocals. It reminds me so much of early hardcore/mathcore like Botch in a lot of ways, it’s not a typical death/black vocal. It emotes more and takes his time with each lyric – Something else I’ll have to discuss because there’s some depth to the words. Currently I’m reading The Southern Reach Trilogy (First one, Annihilation, became a lesser film), so these science fiction themes tied to dramatic events and emotions really resonates at the moment. The consideration of the ideas and then the execution, there’s a lot of levity here. This will serve as suitable preparation for their newest release.
The album art was done by Alex CF – Instagram – who is also one of the vocalists in the band, an amazing artist as well so check him out through that instagram hyperlink. This cover convey’s a lot, this idea of a consuming objective or goal and the turmoil of archiving the unknown or in some way destroyed by knowledge. Perhaps this character’s purpose was to document what was left or what was last, a task of great weight for an empathetic scientist. If anyone has read the book Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer – spoilers – then this image is essentially the biologist crippled by the discovery of the hundreds of journals in the ill-fated lighthouse. I love the touch of the removed helmet with all of her hair coming out, it’s not what you expect to be beneath a spacesuit and it really makes the character human.
It’s pegged as atmospheric black or blackgaze but it feels fuller than the majority of release with that tag. There’s extra layers and guitarwork that call to mind post-hardcore. It’s like a blend of ideas that can only be described by it’s most abrasive moments, for the nuance is rooted deep in a familiar sound. Whatever the angle, I consider it as a whole, better than the individual genres it borrows from. This is immaculate appropriation. Dreaming Under in particular is a stunning track that wisps you away to a tortured yet beautiful soundcape. As someone who spent his life listening to extreme metal, post and doom as well as posthardcore, metalcore, metallic hardcore and melodic hardcore, I’m often confused as to what exactly I’m hearing here but never complaining. The cross appeal of this record is apparent. I suggest that anyone who is a big fan of this check out Farther Still by Boss-de-Nage. It feels spiritually akin. It just has fucking scope man.
At some point clean vocals come in and they in no way detract from the overall sound. They fit in like an intricate design, one fashioned to grasp your heart in both shaking hands. The vibration this album sends through my bones, perhaps it’s because I didn’t take my Valium this morning – well I’m glad, these feels are limitless and I feel like I’m soaring through something greater than myself, not a cosmic void but a cosmic question. One that can elate but can also destroy. That’s what this album is to me.
Hades… This track is the biggest punch of them all, such an emotional delivery and a peak that honestly shook me and had me near tears. If this is their first album then I’m going to be gleefully exploring further. This is the new sound I’ve been craving. The lyrics on this one are so vivid and haunting:
great vistas of our mother blue
she cradles each and every wound,
each facet of her broken cheek
the laval well has wiped all trace
cities blur in crippled piles
bitumen slurries, asbestos rasps
the deathly rattle choked
we trail like comets aimless stead
the apple in our mothers eye
umbilical has drained her dead
the milk from which we fed
made pustules in her flesh
He asks me if I like the view
He holds me responsible for you
Look what you made me do!
let me crawl out of the seas
let me bathe in coronal light
coaxed the mammal out of me
made me stand to know the periphery
and look beyond and see
Straight up poetry and with such imagery. The peak is understandable in this context of a destroyed “mother earth” at the hands of “progress”. To deny the mammal and seek something more, to abandon the primal landscape that birthed us. What did we find in the stars but the visage of our own annihilation?
I can’t find any reason to not give this a 10. It has presentation that looks nice and ties in thematically. The instruments are exactly where they should be, no more or less. The variation of vocals are as effective as they possibly could be. Lyrically it’s inspiring. It’s name your own price on bandcamp (you know my ass got that FLAC download). It fits everything Noob Heavy enjoys. Look back, I’m a fucking nerd. One more stanza from the closing track.
The irony of fear of life, and the abject fear of death
the hex of consciousness deserves a moments breath
to savour the warm resonance of memetic arrest
to dwell in a single shard of our collective voice