In February of this year I received an e-mail from something called p2omerta alerting us to the impending release of a self-titled album by a band named Encenathrakh, with a link to a song on Soundcloud named “Ngthra” — and these words:
“The truest essence of unhinged BRUTALITY.
Enmity, Total Rusak, Cancerbag, Last Days of Humanity, Indonesia –
step aside for the universe’s most ignoramus release ever.
“NO TRIGGERS. NO LYRICS. NO BASS. NO HOPE.
1000% Technical Guttural Supremacy”
Did I follow up? No I did not. I don’t know why. In fact, I’m not even sure I saw the e-mail. But I found it yesterday after receiving a much more recent e-mail from Tom H. — he apparently sent a similar e-mail to MetalSucks, who jumped on it faster than I did. But I’m all over it now, and here’s why:
Because Tom H. linked me to a Facebook post from last September by Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar with these words about the Encenathrakh album:
“Well this is absolutely terrifying. Completely ripping death metal album by Mick Barr, Colin Marston, Weasel Walter, and Paulo Henri.”
Yessir, those names got my attention. And Tom also linked me to a full Bandcamp stream of the album, which I listened to straight through yesterday afternoon.
With a line-up that includes members of Krallice and Behold… The Arctopus (Mick Barr and Weasel Walter) plus Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Krallice), there was a high likelihood this would be a head-spinner, and so it is. And with the participation of Henri (ex-Copremesis), there was also a high likelihood it would involve enough vocal vomit to clog a toilet. And so it does.
There are 11 tracks on this release, and they whiz by in about 34 minutes total. I would say, “you can’t look away”, except this is sound, and it doesn’t quite work to say “you can’t hear away”, but maybe you get the idea.
Tom’s e-mail said the music is improvisational, and it certainly sounds like it. It’s the sound of three super-talented musicians bouncing off each other at light speed, generating a filthy, corroded, cacophonous cyclone of sound. There’s not much discernible structure to the tracks nor much difference among them — just one jaw-dropping explosion of super-human dexterity and vile ugliness after another.
Everything except the shrieking guitar solos (which come and go in the blink of an eye) and the drums (to repeat — jaw-dropping) is down-tuned and distorted to within an inch of its life, all the better to simulate the sound of a cyclone as you might hear it from spitting distance away. Every now and then, the musicians hit a groove (they come and go in the blink of an eye, too), but in the main this is just a completely freaked-out display of highly accelerated obliteration.
It has the air of an experiment, as if these particular people, with the technical and creative skill to do pretty much whatever they set their minds to, decided to test themselves. It’s as if they consciously decided to take the most troglodytic form of metal and attempted both to turn the dial past 11 and also mutate it into something befitting their skills. And lo and behold, they have succeeded.
Imagine a time-lapse video of army ants devouring a water buffalo carcass during an earthquake, eating their fill in a matter of minutes, and then think of what would work well as a soundtrack — or just listen to this and save your imagination for something else. I happen to love it. But you — you’re on your own from here on out.
To deter downloading until this thing gets some kind of physical release, it’s priced at $701.26 on Bandcamp (here). Undoubtedly, there is a story behind that price. I will attempt to learn what it is….
UPDATE: The CD of this album is now on sale at this location: