The Canadian duo Greber have been making heavy and harrowing music for roughly 16 years. My first exposure to their hard-to-define creations was the 2018 album Cemetery Preston, which made me feel like like I’d been backhanded across the mouth, and then punched in the kidneys while having my skull hammered with a tire iron. It included other sensations, but the sense of experiencing marauding obliteration was the first and lasting impression.
Since then they’ve continued on with their campaign, such that their discography has swollen to four full-lengths and six splits. Their newest album, Fright Without, is marked for release by a group of labels on September 9th. It houses 10 tracks, most of them compact, for a totsl run-time that’s just shy of half an hour. Once again the band’s members — Steve Vargas (The Great Sabatini) and Marc Bourgon (ex-Fuck the Facts) confine themselves to drum and bass and share the vocals, with guests who contribute noise, vocals, and an actual guitar on one track.
So far, two tracks have been revealed from the new album, and today we add a third, which happens to be both the album closer and the shortest of the 10.
Photo by Austin Gibson; editing by Youth and Rust
It’s probably a good idea to listen to the first two tracks before becoming embroiled in this newest one. One of those — “Into Silence” — was presented through a video that stars rotating stones and candles and an assortment of other mysterious images. It vividly reveals Greber‘s capacity to inflict stupefying sonic destruction, like a phalanx of intricate demolition machines gone mad. It also displays the band’s capacity to create blood-freezing audio hallucinations with cold strummed chords, increasingly riotous drumwork, and unhinged howls that are as raw as road burn..
The other previously disclosed song, “Fabricated Purpose“, is no less crushing, but maybe more wild and weaving. It’s like witnessing a mechanized beast that frolics, heedless of the fact that it ruins everything it runs into. Weird mewling arpeggios and caustic feedback emerge in the midst of the rambunctious percussion and the lurching and scampering bass distortion, and guest vocalist Kevin Keegan adds addled screams. Of course, it also clobbers the bejesus out of us — and gets creepy and unnerving before the end.
While you’re picking up your teeth and the shards of your mind from wherever those two tracks scattered them, you can now listen to today’s premiere of “Tree Carving“. The band’s stated goal was to end teh album with a hit, something that would “wow” listeners. But it’s a smash hit in another way — the kind that hits so hard it may result in spinal fragmentation.
Crazed and raging, it reaches fever pitches of savage rampaging. But even in a song that barely clears the minute-and-a-half mark, Greber do what they always do — shift gears and contort moods, and electrify the music with constantly changing fretwork and drum patterns. Oh yes, these dudes know how to spin heads as well as traumatize them.
We should probably let Greber speak for themselves about what they sought to achieve on this new album:
“Fright Without is a handleless staircase that disorients as much as it overwhelms. Our testament to suffering and hope, balance and woe, heaven and here. With Kurt Ballou lending his abilities to the mix we’re beyond happy with how the final product came to sound and we hope that the listener finds it to be as much of an escape as they do a confrontation.”
The album will be released through the collaboration of Ancient Temple / Nofuneral (Canada) (Vinyl, CD, Cassette), Hibernation Release (USA) (Vinyl), 7 Degrees/Fresh Outbreak (Europe) (Vinyl), with digital download directly from the band. It’s recommended for fans of Unearthly Trance, Man is the Bastard, Black Sheep Wall, Primitive Man, and Cult Leader.