When it comes to a concept album, the best (and arguably only) place to begin is...well, the beginning. Nosocomial, the forthcoming release from North Carolinian solo black/death/prog/etc. act Iōhannēs certainly qualifies as conceptual in scope--although the particulars of its narrative nature are a bit of an unknown at this time. The story itself will inevitably become a little more clear across the expanse, but for now, we're left with a few pieces to the puzzle: a brief artist statement in the bandcamp bio as well as the intro track, the latter of which we are happy to premiere here today in all of its haunting glory.
Without further ado, give the excellent and evocative "Surgery Theater" a listen below. We'll meet ye on the other side!
Some time back, we slumbering scribes reviewed Continuance, the forthcoming full-length from Fermentor, San Diego's (presumably) finest instrumental death metal duo. After writing said review, I've kept the album in question in heavy rotation, and am honored to premiere a track here today within our humble halls--the raucous "Stage V."
By way of intro, I'll blatantly self-plagiarize: "Whereas most groups would be significantly hindered by the lack of bass, vocals, and other such (seemingly necessary) fluff, Fermentor give "scarcity" a fresh coat of paint...whether flitting over thrashy pastures, sliding into smoky jazz-lounge-from-hell apparel, or stomping over the line where the technicality and unpredictability hits a level of proficiency that practically qualifies it the mathcore leagues, Continuance qualifies as an unpredictable ride no matter how you slice it." Before we get too far into the analysis, however, I highly recommend you give "Stage V" a listen here:
As if to prove a point, nearly all of the aforementioned genre and sonic descriptors apply in the context of this track. While the bulk is defined by a distinctly thrashy forward momentum--indeed, that militaristic drumming and the balls-to-the-wall guitar wouldn't feel out of place with some Angelripper shrieks over the top--there's also a sense of nuance that permeates Fermentor's work. Halfway through, for example, we're treated to a groovy-yet-proggy riff that sounds something like, I dunno, Pantera briefly covering Primus? The outro, in contrast, leans into a bluesier motif, which stands adjacent to the ceaseless and furious percussion.
Of course, the lack of vocals creates, by necessity, an increased focus on the instrumentation that exists in the confines of Fermentor's world, and "Stage V" feels like a solid argument for why the band succeeds without the standard accouterments. Regardless of motifs on display from moment to moment, the technical adeptness of this dastardly duo is something to behold. Otherwise, there's a drive to this track that prevents stagnation--rather than just repeating the same riff over the course, they keep things pleasingly varied. Bottom line: if you're a fan of heavy music that strives to switch up the game and try something new in the face of genre convention, you'll undoubtedly find something to enjoy lurking herein.
Fermentor - Continuance will be released August 14th. You've still got some time before this bad boy is released, but in the meantime, you can spin "Stage V" above as many times as ye please.
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