Coma Cluster Void is a Berlin-based death metal band founded in 2013/2014. After igniting flurries of intense attention in 2016 and 2017, both here and elsewhere, they seemed to become reclusive, at least in their recording output.
Those previous flurries were whipped up by their 2016 debut album Mind Cemeteries and then their follow-up EP the next year, a single long song named Thoughts From A Stone.
But at last, the band (with a revised lineup) are preparing to release a new album, this one named Absurd Romanticism. The first titillating sign of that was a single called “Plague Devourer“, but that was two years ago. Now we have fresh new signs, not only the cover art, the track list, and a release date, but also the song we’re premiering today — “Self and Shadow Become One“.
In those older days when Coma Cluster Void were first attracting attention, our erstwhile writer (and still good friend) Austin Weber repeatedly lavished praise on their music, employing such words and phrases as “ferocious” and “foreboding”, “volatile” and “unorthodox”, “elastic and demented”, “unnerving” and “unearthly”, “intimidatingly harsh” yet “forward-thinking”, “groove-tastic”, “suffocatingly heavy”, and capable of “inducing vertigo”.
Such descriptions come to mind again in listening to “Self and Shadow Become One“.
The song moves like a sonic tornado, in the sense that it veers along a most unpredictable path, destroying some and sparing others, though leaving them in misery.
It inflicts maniacal mauling savagery in destabilizing bursts, seemingly out of step with mercurial drum beats. It squeals and claws, darts in odd angles and becomes woozy and weird, bleakly mewling in dissonant tones. It pounds like a pile-driver and erupts in episodes of searing fretwork and blasting percussion.
Gritty horrid roars come in bursts as well, adding to both the song’s malevolent hostility and its unbalancing effects, but grim muttered words and strangled snarls can be heard as well.
All in all, it’s a devastating yet oddly fascinating experience. Definitely brutish, definitely deranged, seemingly chaotic yet ruthlessly controlled, queasy in some of its sensations and bleakly harrowing in others. Also definitely the kind of thing that takes more than one listen to fully grasp.
Coma Cluster Void vocalist Austin Taylor has described his writing of the lyrics for the song as it evolved, and described the process, as it interacted with his own turmoils, in these words:
“‘Self and Shadow Become One‘ was written during some heavy times. My usual process of listening to an instrumental and searching for the song, became a lengthy struggle with my inner critic. I wrestled with it for quite a while, until a new version with a fresh chorus was sent my way, and all the pieces fell together quickly.
“Not only was it somehow even heavier, it had a certain magical quality to it that took me to a strange place to find the strength to face that monster lurking within. What came out at the deepest layer, was an outside view of the process. An emotional alchemy of sorts, turning a period of silence and depression into 4 minutes of raw aural power. Hearing it in its final form, pristine with the added textures and interpretations, is absolutely blissful.”
COMA CLUSTER VOID Line-up:
Lindsay O’Connor – Vocals
Austin Taylor – Vocals
Mike DiSalvo – Vocals
Michael Anthony Ranne Jr. – Drums
Jeanne Comateuse – Guitars
Sylvia Hinz – Bass
The new album Absurd Romanticism is to be released in March 2024, which gives us one more reason to hope that the world doesn’t end in fire and fury until next April at the earliest.
Check out the locations linked below for more info and to place pre-orders, but also be sure to listen to that previously mentioned song “Plague Devourer” if you haven’t yet encountered it. It has been re-written for the album this year, and you can listen to the new version below. It’s another thoroughly bamboozling bombardment, well-calculated to flip your mind upside down even as it inflicts crazed and cataclysmic punishment.