Written by: The Administrator
When it comes to the simple pleasures associated with the simple scriberly life, front-row access to an artist's evolution over time is one of the most consistently exciting. The artist in question? Ye eagle-eyed readers may recall that this spring, we premiered Eclipse, a conceptual album from a certain progressive Yukonian one-man outfit. I quite enjoyed Rick Massie's ability to seamlessly blend genres in a symphonic landscape, bringing the listener on a series of sonic voyages through dynamic scenery.
But! Eclipse lives in the past. It is now, I am happy to report, a time of year we affectionately refer to as "spooky season." With the change in atmosphere comes an appropriately ominous Rick Massie track. Give "The Dance (of the Dead and Alive)" a well-deserved listen below, and, as always, we'll meet you 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.
Frequent passers-by through Ye Olde Sleeping Village will (hopefully) have noted by this stage that I enjoy when bands toe the line of convention. Indeed, I celebrate when a group throws in the towel and lets deliberate genre-melding lead the process. As such, when Yukonian one-man musical maverick Rick Massie approached us highfalutin peasants with the idea of premiering his forthcoming debut album, all it took to seal the deal (besides, of course, sampling a track) was the promise of genre tomfoolery. In his words, Eclispe is "kind of a mix of everything from prog, to symphonic, to black, to death, to doom-ish, to rock." That's a Now, dear readers, we're talkin' my language.
But let's cut to the chase, shall we? Today, it's our absolute pleasure to present Rick Massie's Eclipse in its unadulterated and unabridged entirety, prior to its release this Friday, May 1st. Before we get too far absorbed in the details, hit play on the stream below. I'll meet you on the other side.
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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