Indricotheriinae are an extinct subfamily of giant, long-limbed, hornless rhinoceroses. They are the largest land mammals that have ever lived. Indricothere is also the name that Colin Marston gave a solo project that he used to record some songs he wrote before forming Behold… the Arctopus.
Indricothere’s first album (self-titled) came out in 2007. This morning I discovered to my surprise that Marston has just today released a second Indricothere album entitled II, which is available for purchase on Bandcamp.
I’ve been listening to the album, which is entirely instrumental, and it’s blowing my fuckin’ mind. There is no pithy way of describing it. Stylistically, its principal kinship is with technical death metal, but it’s part black metal, part prog, part post-metal, and part avant-garde, too. The music is dense, intricate, constantly changing, intensely interesting. Of course, it’s also a high-wire acrobatic performance that will drop jaws. Also, heads will bang.
On a first listen, the music seems less discordant, less cacophonous, less completely free-form on the surface, than the most recent Dysrhythmia album (Test of Submission); while complex and extravagant, the compositions come across to this listener as more coherent and structured.
It’s a heavy monster, too, with Marston coaxing some concrete-splitting low-end riffs out of the Warr guitar (in addition to bounding bass notes and swirling finger-tapped passages) and programming the drums to render some crushing rolls and massive detonations.
Although programmed, I thought the drum variations were fascinating, and Marston also breaks things up with a mesmerizing ambient synthesizer piece on the album’s fifth track. But of course the star of the show is the virtuoso guitar playing. Using a combination of (usually distorted) electric guitar and that Warr beast, and a wide variety of picking and riffing techniques, Marston has created an album that’s riveting from start to finish.
In varying degrees, I’ve been a fan of every project Marston has been involved with, from Behold… the Arctopus to Krallice to Dysrhythmia, and I’m very interested to hear what he does on the new Gorguts album. But even on one listen, this skull-smasher-and-neuron-scrambler has quickly become one of my absolute favorites in Colin Marston’s body of work to date.
The album can be downloaded now on Bandcamp for $7 (see the link below), and Gilead Media says that vinyl will be coming soon. The artwork is by Morgan Criger (mangoceratops.blogspot.ca). Here’s the album stream: