C.B Murdoc
Here be Dragons

I am at the time of this review a junior studying zoology at a smallish university. It was a toss-up between that, physics and chemistry, but I suck at math…so not really a toss-up. Point being I like the scientific method. A lot. So I decided, upon receiving this album for review, to do an experiment.

I asked the guys in the band I play in, friends, other students and whoever, to tell me, based on the name of this band, what sort of music they would expect to hear. They all knew I was leading them down a path, but they still said country/western, or maybe southern rock. Then I played them a track from the record. And they rolled their eyes because of course it wasn’t country or southern rock; why would I bother asking if it were?

Still, SCIENCE.

Then what is it? That is a damned good question. The band, consisting of ex-members of Mork Gryning, and Sectu, has been around for a while, but this is my first brush with them. So I had no idea what I was delving into with this review. And I am still kind of wondering.

It is a stew. It has many ingredients, most of which are delicious. It is robust and satisfying. But it is not easy to pin down the recipe. I can hear elements of Anaal Nathrak, Meshuggah, older Dillinger Escape Plan, and even some Wormed…and a lot of other pieces, depending on the song. The parts, however, do not give a solid picture of the whole in any way.

But what a whole. There is no safe purchase here; no craggy outcrop on any of these tracks that allows a listener to gain footing and catch their breath. The riffs flow in and out of each other in what seems a chaotic mayhem, but the overall structure of each song plays out almost symphonically.  The band sometimes tips toward a  Pyrrhon-esque madness, only to swing into a grooving Decapitated chunk-and-flourish. And for the most part it all meshes.

There is also a very powerful hardcore vibe running through this, but not in the NYHC sense. More in the DC sense. Wild, irresponsible, damn your trends and your expectations hardcore. This is not metalcore, it’s hardheavy. Again, the whole is not easily broken into the parts, but it satisfies.

Tracks are varied in form, but apart from the opening and closing tracks, not intensity or esthetic. “The Green” is a crawling chaos; a death march with build-and-release all through it. “The Violence of Illumination” strikes like a mad swordsman, thrusting and slicing and advancing and parrying with any sense of melody until you are left bleeding from a million cuts. “Objecting Projection” closes the record proper like a series of hammer blows in the dark leading to a fantastic climax melody that caps the whole endeavor with grandeur; then a final quiet, somber soundscape, simply called “11”.

All this may be too much for some metalheads, but for me it is a pleasure to make my way through, like a scientist in a complex and strange environment, discovering, identifying, analyzing and checking/revising my data again and again. I would recommend this to any like-minded metal researchers. For the rest, take a listen. There is a lot here, and there ought to be something for all of you.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Sessions
June 23rd, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    This is a kickass release. good review


  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    this is fucking strange. the programmed rumble behind the track you linked is REALLY menacing and inscrutable. I’m actually finding myself laughing while listening to this, but not like…AT it? it’s like I can’t quite pin it down. it’s alien and surreal. I like it.


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