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!
The stage is set with some clanging atmospherics--in my mind's eye, I'm, picturing the less-than-appealing contraption on the album cover rolling swiftly down the cracked linoleum halls of a nightmarish medical institution. The guitar and drums set in with an understated flourish, building and swelling to an explosive vocal entry. The protagonist sits (un)comfortably between anguished howls and tormented shrieks, their delivery feels appropriately frenetic, driven by a tangible sense of panic.
Rather than maintaining this course, however, "Surgery Theater" proves itself a sonically dynamic track. At the midpoint, the riffage breaks for a shakily anxious mantra: "This isn't happening; this isn't real." Towards the end, after the protaganist's self-declared final gasp, a groove-laden riffs takes hold, ending the affair on a menacingly hefty note as the antagonistic surgeon seals the deal. Clocking in at three minutes and change, "Surgery Theater" sets a solid hook if e'er there was, but doesn't feel like it shows too many cards. When it comes to a single that is connected to a much broader picture by benefit of the album's conceptual nature, you really can't ask for more than that.
And here, dear reader/listener, is where the story stands until the release of Nosocomial on March 19th. In the meantime, snag it on Bandcamp for the ridiculously fair price of $1!
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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