After a demo and a 7”, Kentucky’s psycho-sludge duo Nest return with a pulverizing, drugged-out LP, Metempsychosis, an album that breaks all of the rules and sends dirge lovers on a harrowing trip through the nastiest recesses of the human mind.  As thick as many of the dirtiest 4 to 5 member sludge bands with only two members in tow, these sickos could care less about keeping harm reduction low with a hostile sound that wavers between forceful, craggy riff grooves (but not exactly in the key of Sabbath), acerbic clean texturing and mercilessly screamed vocals.

A noisy, clawing amp drone and dying gasps of air mark the untitled intro and thusly set the stage for the vile, rolling riffs of “The Cowardice and Rashness of Courage.”  Kyle Keener’s guitar plies noise-rock’s scathing, sheet metal piercing hostility with burly, gnarled grooves that call to mind the heaviest hitters in the genre.  Drummer/vocalist Corey Stringer pounds a forward-driving beat that keeps the song limber and virile when stacked alongside slower, more droned-out units that occupy this antimatter genre.  Stringer’s voice is suited for a filthy, fetid black metal project with shades of the late, great Johnny Morrow creeping in at times.  Kyle strips down the nihilistic groove with some spacey, psychedelic layering later on in the track which only further pushes Nest to a very individual identity amongst a crowded pack.  “Gallows of Forever” continues the psychedelic dust storm hinted at towards the end of the opening cut by drilling a melodic intro into the frozen ground, pounded into precision place with a feral, death knell drum march.  Strangled, atonal riffs are delivered to damnation perfection with the in-the-red recording job making the band sound as if it could fall apart at any given moment.  Corey adopts some lower, death-y grind roars into the mixture and the gruesome twosome picks up the pace midway through for a crippled, creeping punk rock stomp that descends into some of the dirtiest, piss-stained reverse-time sludge in existence.

“Heretic” gives off a few whiffs of that sweet landfill stink of UK’s scum/sludge/crust scene.  The riffing charges ruthlessly in your face, kicking up several stellar grooves that would be sure to go down well with miscreants that worship Iron Monkey, Among the Missing’s Disorder of the Templar and Charger’s slimiest stuff circa Confessions of a Man (Mad enough to Live among Beasts).  Lightning fast fill-work on the snare and riffs that pretty much just bully your mind and fuck with your spirit conjure up a deviant midsection that comes apart at the seams when the tempo is again reduced to dominating sludge and staggering drunk noise chords.  A lengthy, poised build-up of cosmic, melodic guitar work points “Driving by the Entrails of Sheep” to a jagged expanse of rural, wandering sludge driven by an aggressive beat and psychedelic riffage that reminds me of forgotten favorites Electric Horsemen.  Loping, lurching grooves spill like vomit from your alcoholic grandfather’s favorite puke bucket as the drum patterns and chording arrangements get more complex as they go; reaching a grandstand finale of spiraling, blackened noise and retching doom tempos.

Squalls of scorched and carpet bombed amps permeate “Jewel of Iniquity” and Keener must equip his pedalboard set-up with the proper tools (or even run his guitar through a bass amp Kyuss-style) to achieve a low-end quake even without the presence of any actual bass.  The song nails some absolutely murderous grooves but also freaks out and heads to the psyche-ward with swirls of ungodly whitewash.  “From the Darkness in me, Illuminate” balances black metal guitar picking, blasting grind drumming and searing swipes of sludge into a highwire act of hatred that’s truly formidable to behold, while the immediate follow-up of “Life’s Grief” has the most infectious and surprisingly catchy sludge riffs and 70s-soaked leads on the entire record…in fact like a lot of the band’s material, it sounds pretty damn unique when weighed against the rest of the album’s tracks.  A soulful psychedelic break and a clattering outro of sheer harsh noise make this near 10 minute long slammer exciting from front to back cover.  The album ends as it began with another ambient outro, firmly bookending the record and thankfully being placed at the conclusion (this is definitely an LP that benefits from avoiding a midsection interlude).

Metempsychosis is a modern sludge classic.  This type of stuff should make you feel uncomfortable, threatened and generally in danger.  That feeling is across every inch of this mean ass fuckin’ record and the songwriting is several ear-slicings above cookie cutter bands with no moxie in their mutilation.  Anyone that signed onto the sludge trip with the classic bands and have followed some of its most extreme purveyors should grab up every single thing that Nest has done to date, especially this full-length offering.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
April 17th, 2018


  1. Commented by: Jebus

    This made me sleepy

  2. Commented by: Evildeadjay

    Well at least you got your rest in then!

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