Jun 262019


Voiceless visions vary, with highly variable results. Subtracting the vibrations of a human larynx doesn’t diminish the appeal of most orchestral compositions or of jazz, for example (though solemn choirs enhance a requiem, and the smoky sultriness of a soulful voice brings dimensions of sound that a saxophone can’t capture). But in genres of extreme metal, entirely instrumental performances seem to face special challenges. It’s not immediately clear why this should be so — after all, a voice is just another instrument of sound, and usually a harsh and ugly one in our circles — but the absence of such assaulting sensations seems to leave a void that many instrumental performers have difficulty filling, leaving the attention of listeners to wander.

On the other hand, the music of the instrumental Belarusian band Essence of Datum leaves no noticeable void at all. To the contrary, it might not go too far to say that the addition of vocals to their music would be a subtraction — an unwanted intrusion that might prove to be a distraction and a diminution of their achievements. That’s quite a testament to their powers, especially because this duo are firmly rooted in the extremity of death metal rather than feeling compelled to layer in symphonic excesses or indulge in meandering proggy diversions as a way of filling the voiceless void.

Essence of Datum‘s success in surmounting the challenges identified above led to their signing earlier this year by Season of Mist, who will release the band’s new album Spellcrying Machine on August 30th. How they achieved that success is not fully revealed on any single song; listening to the entire album provides the best answer. But the first single we’re bringing you from the album today through an attention-grabbing performance video — “Pendulum” — is certainly a great introduction to the album’s manifold attractions. Continue reading »

Mar 122014

(In this jumbo post Austin Weber puts the spotlight on recommended recent music from nine (9!) bands plus some tour news about a tenth.)

By now you know the drill, I’m going to throw a bunch of music your way and see if any of it sticks. While 2014 has seemed sort of slow, release-wise, so far, I managed to find a number of under-the-radar goodies and I’ve also included two established-band updates. As usual, you are free to loathe or love all or none of it. While I usually only listen to ambient grindcore, I’ve been branching out lately. So, lots of different kinds of music besides ambi-grind are included below. With deathqueef making up more of the music mentioned this time, but also delving into colostomy-bag-fueled post-electronic, instrumental scat, and nu-grunge.


With their latest release Reptilian Agenda, Embryonic Devourment have even further embraced old school death metal tendencies into the fold of their technical brutal carnage that warns of the true reptilian nature of reality. This is a big step up for them, and fans of old school death metal should certainly give this a listen. In spite of its swarming Origin-meets-Malignancy veneer, a lot of the riffs are superbly evil, meaty, and groovy in an old school way.  Continue reading »