On our metallic NCS island, speed is usually king. The metal we usually prefer is fast and overhwhelming in its power. The closer it comes to producing feelings of delirium and dementia, the better. Catchy rhythms and memorable melodies are nice, too — we find that those elements in a song tend to bring us back for repeat listening. Even in those instances, however, we still prefer that the hooks be embedded in music that zooms along like a machine on a fast track.
But every now and then, though infrequently, the king takes a holiday and turns the island over to slower moving creatures. On those days, we might spend a few somewhat more tranquil hours in the Lorisarium — which unfortunately exists only in our minds, because our duplicitous pen-pals in Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso have still not followed through on their promises of wealth so that we might make our Lorisarium dreams a reality.
Off and on over the past couple of weeks, the king has been edged into a forced absence by the music on a debut EP called As Beauty Springs From Mud . . . that we received from by a band called Rest In Disgrace. On first impression, the seven songs on the EP seem simple. The pacing varies, but never arches into the red zone of mayhem. There’s very little blazing fretwork or techie song construction, and the drumming didn’t cause our jaws to drop in amazement at its dexterity.
But the more we’ve listened to this EP, which is built around lyrical themes from Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, the more impressed we’ve become. It combines mid-paced death metal with elements of doom and prog and melodeath, with mood shifts implemented by dreamlike instrumental interludes. It’s not as simple as it seemed at first, and even in its simplest moments, it exerts a primal attraction.
As Beauty Springs From Mud expertly combines the heavy with the sublime, and has won us over despite our usual preference for blazing catharsis. And there’s one song on the EP in particular that has pulled us back again and again like few songs we’ve heard this year. (more after the jump, including that song . . .)