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"Coma Cluster Void have definitely delivered one of the most groundbreaking albums of the year."


Online Version without review:

Was ein Instrument mit 9 oder 10 Saiten wirklich braucht, sind Querdenker. Unkonventionelle Künstler, die nicht "nur" technisch fähig sind, diese gigantischen Gitarren zu beherrschen, sondern auch kreativ dazu in der Lage, die Range spannend zu nutzen. Und da fällt mir nur ein Beispiel ein: Coma Cluster Void.

Empfehlung des Monats
Coma Cluster Void 'Mind Cemeteries'

Auch wenn ich den Mund damit rech voll nehme, dürfte es sich bei diesem Album um die mit Abstand extremste und gleichzeitig experimentellste Empfehlung handeln, die ich an dieser Stelle je aussprechen werde. Das Fundament, auf dem 'Mind Cemeteries' basiert, ist progressiver Death Metal der Marke Gorguts oder Cryptopsy. Mit Letztgenannten teilen sich Coma Cluster Void auch den ehemaligen Sänger Mike DiSalvo. Dominiert von John Strieders dissonantem 10 String-Gitarrenspiel nd den, wie die Band sie nennt, "Anti-Grooves" von Drummer Chris Burrows, bricht 'Mind Cemeteries' jedoch mit so vielen Konventionen, dass eine lange Aufmerksamkeitsspanne und ein starkes Nervenkostüm absolut notwendig sind. Anders lässt sich dieses Werk weder erfassen noch aushalten. Wer sich durch das sperrig-zerfahrene und teils geradezu schmerzhaft atonale Werk dieser Visionäre durchbeißen kann, wir allerdings mit einem Hörerlebnis belohnt, dass seines Gleichen sucht. Doch selbst hartgesottene Metaller dürften sich an 'Mind Cemeteries' wohl eher die Zähne ausbeißen. Für mich haben Coma Cluster Void mit ihrem Debüt aber definitiv eines der wegweistendsten Alben des Jahres abgeliefert.



Sometimes you find yourself at a place in your musical journey where you’re so fazed by death metal and its so-called brutality that a song called “Hammer Smashed Face” could just as well be a spa facial. In those times, you tend to need something that truly pushes the boundaries of the genre.

If that sounds familiar, consider yourself invited to take a wander into Mind Cemeteries, the debut album from Coma Cluster Void, a multinational, avant-garde death metal band reminiscent of latter day Gorguts with even less melodic content.

The amount of atonal, aggressive and dissonant music Coma Cluster Void have crammed into this album is staggering. Even the customary interludes and quieter parts of the album never give you respite: rather, they’re a quiet dread; the calm before an especially ravaging storm.

These qualities become increasingly understandable when you keep in mind that John Strieder, the band’s ten-string guitarist and main composer, is himself the composer of some incredibly challenging post-modern compositions, as well as the man behind the unsettling string arrangements on War From A Harlots Mouth´s swansong album Voyeur.

The usage of a ten-string guitar may lead the uninitiated to expect djent and neatly programmed drums but, luckily for those tired of djentrification, that’s not the case. Mind Cemeteries features the (in)human drumming skills of Chris Burrows, making sure the percussion matches the oppressive, sometimes claustrophobic atmosphere of the string section. Bassist Sylvia Hinz, unfortunately gets largely lost in the mix, which is understandable when sitting opposite a low-tuned ten-string guitar, but it’s still unfortunate as it would have been very interesting to see what she could have added to the album’s sound. She does provide her skill on double bass recorder for the interlude “I See Through Your Pain” and on the album closer “As I Walk Amongst the Sick” though, bringing another sonic element into the album.

Despite the music being at times quite impenetrable and atonal, i’s still incredibly memorable; there are riffs across the record that are (dare I say it?) quite catchy, including the blast beat section from “Drowning Into Sorrow” amongst a plethora of choice cuts.

The vocals, provided in a dual attack formation by former Cryptopsy frontman Mike DiSalvo and Austin Taylor, tend to stray from the cliched low grumbling noises most common in the death metal arsenal. The dramatic shouting of “Path of Lies”, as well as “Petrified Tears” in its entirety, are true standout moments – the latter includes panicked shouts, spoken word and even a little clean singing, which takes nothing away from the intensity. Taking even more of this more vulnerable/mentally unstable style, also found on closer “Epilogue: As I Walk Amongst The Sick“, and spreading it across the album really would have brought the album up to a new level in its entirety.

Mind Cemeteries may not be an album you’ll listen to every day and sing along to but sweet mother of atonality is it worth a listen. Actually scratch that – it’s worth several. Mind Cemeteries is a dense fucker of an album and you’ll need time to dig your claws into it – before the void reaches back and digs into you in return.

Jón writer banner Jan 2015


How much you like your spleen?  I mean, you don't need it, do you? Can you get on quite fine without it?  You may want to say goodbye just in case, as listening to the debut release from international avant-garde death metal band Coma Cluster Void, Mind Cemeteries, may see yours liquidized into a fine, meaty paste.  Utilizing chthonic abominations of science (also known as 10 string guitars) the quintet, featuring ex-Cryptopsy vocalist Mike DiSalvo, have crafted a pummeling, miasmic slab of death metal that is as cerebral as it is crushing, twisting the modern technical formula to create something quite special.

 Coma Cluster Void are a high technical band, but not in the same flashy school as Beyond Creation(not that there's anything wrong with that) but something far more subtle. Using their considerable technical muscle, the band have created a series of chaotic soundscapes that merge the off-kilter, coiling syncopation of modern progressive bands like Meshuggah with the dissonant riffmanship of Dysrhythmia, Gorguts and Artificial Brain. Mind-bending, angular riffing articulated with a mathcore feel, meet the menacing drones of the hyper-extended range of the guitar of John Strieder to create a chaotic explosion of metal that is dripping with atmosphere.  Mind Cemeteries can best be described as the sound your brain would make as is being sucked through a black hole to some vast, non-Euclidian plane. Something that I didn’t think I needed in my life until now.

It must have been all too tempting to use the ten-string guitar as a gimmick in a world of the “more strings arms race” that is going on in metal music at the moment. While this behemoth of an instrument may be a defining feature of the band, its lower notes are used tastefully, rather than excessively. As it turns out, the slightly off-tune drone of a string tuned that low is goddamn terrifying; a gargling, menacing sound that used to great effect throughout Mind Cemeteries to make it as unsettling of an album as cosmically possible.

The rhythm section of Chris Burrows on drums and Sylvia Hinz on bass prove a time-traveling powerhouse as they lay down the otherworldly grooves that make the foundation of the band. Sylvia’s habit of playing a flipped right string bass as a left-handed player (without re-ordering the strings) creates some unusual and incredibly dynamic intervallic playing that simply adds to the sense of slight “wrongness” to the whole album. Chris acts as something of the rhythmic shamanic-guide of the band; navigating through the labyrinthine structure of Coma Cluster Void’s music with expert precision.

Vocal duties are handled by Mike DiSalvo, previously of Cryptopsy, and Austin Taylor; a beastly pair if ever there was one. Their grunts, roars, yelps and screams help glue the complete chaos of the instrumentation together, though only barely. The pair focuses lyrically on themes of death and destruction, but on a cosmic scale. Tracks such as Everything Is Meant to Kill Us takes Lovecraft’s de-anthropocentric view of reality and applies it to the death metal formula, with lyrics like:

Judgment is disappearing.
And the sun is dissipating.
Yet the fallen have arisen.
I have finally awakened.
To the stench of all the long lost memories.
Clogging up the mind cemeteries.
Feeding off the parasite.

It sounds almost Chtuluian to me, certainly something far greater than simple murder.

So, is your spleen a worthwhile sacrifice to listen to Coma Cluster Void? Undoubtedly yes. What Coma Cluster Void have crafted here is a unique, difficult but intensely tasteful and rewarding metal album. It may seem off to describe anything on Mind Cemeteries as “tasteful”, given its pure insanity, but honestly Coma Cluster Void show a great deal of restraint here. Tempting as it would be to over-use the lower notes of the ten string or overplay the instrument and turn the album into a self-indulgent shred-fest, they do no such thing. Despite the incredible ability of all those on Mind Cemeteries, the song always comes first, with the building sense of Lovecraftian horror coming in at a close second. Mind Cemeteries is highly recommended to all those looking for something a little different and a little out there in the metal world.


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Now that I've heard the whole thing I keep sitting down to write about this album and find myself wanting to leave my review at just the words "all dead... all dead" which would be totally half-assing but still probably hits close enough to the mark that I doubt anyone would get too pissed about it.

I also keep wanting to say that this sounds like Cryptopsy vs. Gorguts because It's angular as holy hell and even 18 years later I can't help but associate DiSalvo's voice with Whisper Supremacy, but that's not fair either 'cos right out the gate this album takes it even further "out" than that.

So what I'll say instead is that CCV take the last 20 or so years of really fucking dissonant music, melt it down, sculpt it into "their own thing" then beat you about the head and face with it until you black out.

Through the gaps in consciousness you catch glimpses: It's fast, slow, dense, surreal, occasionally very beautiful in the same way I find bombed out industrial areas beautiful and I have a feeling that in another 20 years I'll still be trying to get my head around exactly what is going on with some of these tracks because a lot of times it seems like the music is either falling down a well or moving in multiple directions at once. Like shrapnel. In stroboscopic time lapse. Crossfiring. Ricochet. Annihilation.

Or more to the point: Easy listening it ain't, but this album will absolutely fucking kill you. Totally nuts and wholeheartedly recommended.