You Send Me Things, I Listen to Them: Kosmogyr, Омега Клустер, and Estuarine
Got a hunger for exotic delights? Consider yourself the possessor of an epicurean palate? Is your lust for riffs insatiable? Then come on in to G-Dubs’ Band Submission Buffet and sup to your fill. I’ve got a delicious three-course spread on deck sure to silence that grumbling belly.
Kosmogyr – Eviternity
Be not deceived by the lush string arrangement that opens this drama; Kosmogyr are a force of emotive violence, a band as capable of sundering you limb from limb as deftly pulling upon the tender strings of your heart. The key to this equipotentiality is the band’s adept blend of multiple genres; too often metal bands shoehorn their influences into ill-fitting places, sounding more a mix of metal’s common talking points than an actual artistic endeavor. Eviternity, Kosmogyr’s debut, bucks this trend with its seamless merging of black metal, death metal, and post-hardcore. And lest that word “post” cause your body to reduce to tremors and your mind to be consumed with a case of the vapors, let me head your consternation off at the pass. Eviternity is an extreme metal album through and through. What few post elements there are – namely rising crescendos, heartfelt dynamics, and a warmth and tone that lends a melodic weight to the visceral riffs – are used only to increase the tension of the extreme elements of the band’s sound. The real gravity of this band’s assault is in their rampant walls of trem and blast that channel the likes of UNRU and Sun Worship. Periodically the band accents those riffs with tasteful solos or morose death growls, but the focus is ever on the cleaving strike of the riffs and their ragged grip on the jugular. When songs like “Quiescent” stagger to a pensive halt or inject a moving solo straight into your veins, or when the title track jars your skull lose with some head-spinning counterpoint, it only serves to deepen the wounds rent by those tactile riffs. If you like bands like Dakhma or Void Ritual, don’t sleep on this.
Омега Клустер – ϴе Нижт
And now with an abrupt left turn into electronic territory, we have Омега Клустер’s chiptune metal opus. Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, I’d love to hear the soundtracks for Mega Man and F-Zero, only with 8-bit blast beats and unsettling melodies,” this is the album for you. ϴе Нижт is an expansive, immersive jaunt through a world of harrowing bleeps and bloops that summon the sweetest nostalgia for 1980s super science and high fantasy. Its electronic landscape is riddled with shimmering, polygonal chords and stunning vistas of crystalline drum beats. There’s an amazing, unprecedented sense of tension and emotion in this digital environment that painstakingly captures the highs and lows, the stunning victories and crushing defeats, of your favorite arcade games from your childhood. To listen to ϴе Нижт is to lose yourself in a nostalgia-filled adventure that brings your favorite metal jams along for the ride; maybe this time, if you’re truly brave, you’ll finally beat that end boss.
Estuarine – Sic Erat Scriptum
This last selection is definitely the most enticing for the riff-heads in the crowd. Estuarine is a one-man extreme metal project from Florida. Although mastermind Hydrus self-labels as experimental technical blackened deathgrind, Sic Erat Scriptum more often recalls the grand scope of progressive thrash bands like Satyrasis; songs unspool in an ever-permutating series of precision riffs and fiery leads, each a worthy contender for our weekly competition. Hydrus adds a bit of flair to each riff with intermittent clean interludes (there’s an especially lovely call-and-response in “Phosphorous and Sulfur”) and some wonderfully farty bass swells that translate the sweltering humidity of Estuarine’s Floridian origin. Sic Erat Scriptum is a long album, but Hydrus holds you in rapt attention with excellent pacing, variety, and dynamics. The entire record builds toward the one-two punch of its final tracks, the longest two songs on the album, and the cathartic denouement of the title track, with its lightning-fast chromatic riffs, delicious rhythmic counterpoint and flat-out-fun punk deviation, will leave you more satisfied than an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. If you’re bummed about Nevermore‘s demise and can’t wait for new riff adventures from Sarcoptes or Vektor, pay the $1 entry fee and take the wild ride of Estuarine.
Let me know which of these records tickles your fancy the most in the comments below.