Today, December 29th, the Toronto band Phantom Lung are releasing the final EP in a trilogy of EPs that share the name Abhorrent Entity. The full title of the new one is Abhorrent Entity iii: solivagant, and to help spread the word we’re presenting a full stream of it for you.
We’ve previously shared our thoughts about the first two EPs in the trilogy. In an effort to sum up the first one, which was released last March, we wrote that it is “massive and mauling… so ugly and unhinged, so combative and confrontational, so ruthless and so exhilarating, that we can’t help but love it, even if the attitude might be interpreted as ‘fuck off and die!’”.
The second one, Abhorrent entity ii: moribund, was no less confrontational. As we wrote of that one, it was a ruinously destructive sonic demolition job – savage, corrosive, ravenous, and a brute-force slugfest too, yet with musical elements that at times also made the song sound grim and unearthly.
The new EP pulls no punches either. It includes three tracks, opening with “Trauma Bond”, a song about the connections between our own traumas and the pain (or peace) of others, and a resolution (in fury) to sever that connection. It ends with the words “Your pain is my peace”.
In its music, the song swells into a storm of scathing riffage, clubbing drumwork, scorching screams, and harrowing roars. The music also lumbers and heaves like a great beast, scampers like a punk, and pounds like a pile-driver. The strings screech like demented sirens going off, and seem to chew through steel, the mangling machinery of devastation at work.
“Redemption Through Sin” follows “Trauma Bond”. Perhaps even more lyrically bleak than the EP’s opener, it portrays the subjection of people to deception, distraction, and deceit and the “constant reminder of our errors” by the self-righteous, by “violent mobs with the graces of god”.
But as bleak and haunted as the words are, the sounds are almost exultant in their brazen and bruising savagery. Punk beats, bone-fracturing bass lines, and abrasive slashing chords drive the onslaught, with bursts that sound like mechanized weaponry. The throat-lacerating vocals turbocharge the mayhem toward even greater derangement, this time joined by guest vocalist Jesse from Burnt Knives to create a gang duet of white-hot rage.
(Interestingly, Phantom Lung tell us that most of the song was inspired by ‘50s-‘60s surf rock and ‘40s-‘50s Motown. That would probably come as shocking surprise to any of those artists still alive.)
“Vagans Solus” brings the EP, and the entire trilogy of EPs, to a close, but it brings no lyrical reprieve from devastated thoughts. The closing words are these:
EVERY SINGLE THING IVE EVER CARED FOR IS ABSOLUTELY ROTTEN TO THE CORE
DIG YOUR THUMBS AND DIG THEM DEEP INTO THE EYE OF PROVIDENCE
IT TAKES A REMARKABLE SALESMAN TO CONVINCE US TO SELL OUR SOULS
Phantom Lung’s songwriter Andy calls this one his “magnum opus”, the best song he’s written, which is why it’s the one that brings the entire trilogy to the finish line. Weirdly wailing at first, it goes full-throttle until near the end, storming and scarring the senses. Even when the chords dismally heave, the drums spit bullets.
But at about the 0:45 minute mark it shifts into a darting, jackhammering riff that will get heads moving, though that’s vanquished by another eruption of obliterating, exhilarating violence. Further changes ensue, including the kind of roars that send shivers down the spine, and a closing breakdown that’s downright apocalyptic in its sensations of oppressiveness and the extinction of hope.
With the this latest EP, Phantom Lung have once again proved to be frighteningly powerful amalgamators of hardcore and death metal, creating music that’s fueled by fury, massively crushing, and electrified by enough voltage to power big turbines. It’s devastating at every level — part blast-furnace, part granite-quarrying machine, part riot of the abused hurling molotov cocktails — but guaranteed to get your nerves firing on all cylinders.
For more info and to download a copy, check out the locations linked below.