(Austin Weber reviews the new album by The Crinn.)
Last year at NCS I helped premiere a track by Minnesota-based mathcore band The Crinn called “Endless”. At that time, their upcoming record, Shadowbreather, had no release date. It wasn’t until very recently that the band announced that Shadowbreather will be coming out on April 28 — and it began streaming in full yesterday.
Sometimes you run into metal records that are unusually strange or mindfuckingly insane from a rhythm or tempo angle, and then, even more rarely, you run into records like Shadowbreather that do both of those things. Having had a chance to sink into the record early, courtesy of the band, I’ve had some time to decipher its nigh-impenetrable shifts and explore its labyrinthine layers over a multitude of listens. I still come away from the experience dazed yet bug-eyed, but now I feel it makes more sense.
The violent and catastrophic nature of their rhythms, riffs, and rasps collide into a mental bludgeoning with a soft side; there is a psychedelic dimension to Shadowbreather that is new to The Crinn’s music. The occurrences of this new element in their sound are not merely segues. More often than not, The Crinn infuse them within chaotic and frenetic math-grind, somehow achieving a cerebral, trippy quality that may not sound right on paper, yet works so well throughout the album. I never guessed that I’d ever be writing about psychedelic mathcore in the first place, but I’m down with it after hearing how The Crinn pull it off so effortlessly on Shadowbreather inside moments of sheer mania and murder.