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Hey there tech-fiends, it's that time of the week again! It seems a lot of you really enjoyed last weeks early Cognizance stream, so I'm happy to be able to keep up the early stream format again this week with a private full stream of the new Coma Cluster Void album. But before we dive into that, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking for more music you can peruse all prior editions of this series here.

In the past decade or so there has been a growing niche of technical death metal bands whose approach is far more unorthodox and uglier than a lot of the super shreddy stuff you tend to here. This new wave has really led to a lot of interesting music and new forms of technical death metal that sound fresh. Some of which I've taken the time to cover in this space before when covering groups like Khariot, Thaetas, Intonate, Replicant, Sunless, Michel Anoia, and several others. So brace yourself for the skronky weirdness, because multi-national group Coma Cluster Void are the strongest newcomer to atonal minded technical death metal I've heard in a long time.

Having first been clued into the band about three years ago by my editor at Nocleansinging, I knew these guys were on to something special, but couldn't fathom just how bat-shit insane and brilliant their album Mind Cemeteries would actually be in its entirety. No one out there really sounds like Coma Cluster Void in the sense of covering the totality of their expansive sonic palette, but there are at least some groups and elements that can be pointed to in order to give you a ballpark for what you're getting yourself into. Imagine if you will the chaotic and zany ideas found in mathcore groups like Dillinger Escape Plan and Ion Dissonance mixed with the disturbing dissonance of groups like Gorguts, Ulcerate and Deathspell Omega. Then add a pinch of off-kilter groove influence from groups like Car Bomb and Meshuggah to the above blend. Churn all that volatile shit together and make the resulting blend as spastically choppy and discordant as possible, and you're somewhere near the fucked up and unhinged sound that Coma Cluster Void play. In addition, the modern classical minded interludes on the album are fantastic and give off an almost horror film score vibe that further enhances the grim and eerie atmosphere present throughout Mind Cemeteries .

Without a doubt, Mind Cemeteries is one of the best things I've heard all year, although I get the feeling that its so out there that what's really going on here will fly right over some people's heads. And that's okay since this is hardly the kind of music that's easy to fully comprehend even after multiple listens. But for those adventurous listeners looking to hear what they haven't heard before, Mind Cemeteries will quickly become your new favorite album. You can pre-order Mind Cemeteries through their Bandcamp Page here. Be sure to follow them on their Facebook Page too! Coma Cluster Void – Mind Cemeteries officially comes out this Friday, August 26th.


A good experiment doesn’t have to produce positive results. Acid was a great experiment but The Grateful Deadexist, so…

Some excursions into the unknown reveal horrendous truths. Mind Cemeteries by international mathcore collective Coma Cluster Void is one such truth. Showcasing the extended range guitar in a manner as yet unheard, this is a musical foray into testing the limits of how much disarray can exist in sound. It’s also really brutal. Just before this gets too fucking prog. This is so far from pretentious that it’s probably pretentious again. But not at the same time.

It’s mind numbing how artists from all over the world can pool to create something so claustrophobic and intrinsic. There’s no distance between any note or sound on this record. The gaps between low register guitar manipulation and seething vocals are filled with droning notes and out of this world resonance. While still at it’s manipulated (and now probably mechanised) heart a math metal sound, Mind Cemeteries is a creation that contort the genre in a new fashion. At the very least, it’s going to pull acts towards the dissonant and microtonal movement. Pull them and push them and flip them on their head to be berated by a sound fitting of a Stanley Kubrick torture scene. It’s unsettling, like all good, savage math metal should be.

As playful and nightmarish as Pyrrhon, Coma Cluster Void beats just as hard as bands more associated with bottom string assault. Such as Ion Dissonance. That was never going to be much of a stretch to pull that reference out. The similarities start and end with both acts ability to constantly cartwheel between groove and bedlam. The machinations of instrument and voice conspire and create music inherently pleasurable for anyone wanting to flirt with the void. Maybe just dip a toe in to see how low things can really get. “Everything Is Meant To Kill Us”. Yep. Especially this track. The track list isn’t entirely necessary. It could be played like the recent Gorguts release. One long trip to places most unpleasant. A lot can be said for music that can suck the life out of a room in a positive light.

What doesn’t suck are the “filler” tracks. Existing to bridge the chasm between ventures into parts unknown, the unearthly string sounds are sharp enough to cut the hairs they make stand on end. Listen to the band and imagine it slowed down by a few thousand rpm. It isn’t too dissimilar. These tracks are just an integral part of the experiment and shall not be skipped. The build up from the segue into “The Hollow Gaze” is an unmatchable showcase of just how to bring chaos to life. There are stunning bursts of staccato guitar fire that can help invoke an unshakable sense of dread, but nothing quite like the final closing strings of this practically flawless record.

It’s hard to say where this belongs because it won’t cut it for members of any particular party. Coma Cluster Void as a group make music finely tuned to turn clean pants into shitty pants. It’s a jaw dropping result from multiple dissections of genres and styles. Not simply cutting and pasting into the correct box but bending the edges of everything set before it. There’s no need to totally mess with extreme music. It’s all just noise, isn’t it? Mind Cemeteries is just an all too welcome example of how to warp noise into a product inherently addictive. Despite its prevalence for dropping the brown note.




Coma Cluster Void are a death metal band, (of sorts), and this is their debut album. They have an international lineup, with members from Canada, Germany and the US.

This album features not one, but two ex-Cryptopsy singers. You heard that right. To be fair, one of them, (Lord Worm), is only a guest vocalist on a couple of tracks, but still. The other, (Mike DiSalvo), is only one half of the vocal attack, the other half being provided by the singer of Dimensionless.

This is not your typical death metal release, not at all. Think of it as an avant-garde mathcore death metal album, with a mind-bending guitarist who plays a 10-string. Oh yes.

If you toss Ion Dissonance, Gorguts, Meshuggah, Botch, Sikth, Blood Has Been Shed and Pyrrhon into a blender, you’ll probably only come halfway close to the racket that Coma Cluster Void create, but it’ll give you a decent starting point.

The songs are progressive, technical and experimental death metal taken to the nth degree, all raging heaviness and off-kilter beats. The band certainly don’t lack for inventiveness, that’s for sure. There are also elements of chaotic hardcore and djent in the mix, as well as the kind of metalled-up discordant jaw-dropping extremity that a band like The Dillinger Escape Plan do so very well.

This is a collection of tracks that takes some time to settle into your brain, but when it does, and when you start being able to follow what the band are doing a bit more, (rather than being constantly blindsided by what happens next), Mind Cemeteries slots into place so well, you start to wonder what you did without it.

This is not easy listening, and will probably even pass by a lot of hardened metal fans, so atypical and harsh is it. However, if you’re in the market for something a bit more different and a bit more challenging than your average extreme metal fare, then Coma Cluster Void should be your first port of call.


I've known Coma Cluster Void guitarist and composer John Strieder for a few years now. We actually initially met through the Dissonant Network group, started communicating regularly and ended up collaborating for my old band War From A Harlots Mouth's final album 'Voyeur'. He composed and performed a number of interludes that really tied the album and its vibe together and also kept recommending great and inspiring contemporary composers to me during the writing process. I never really thought about it, but he probably pushed me further as a musician with all of his input. And when he told me that he was working on his own Extreme Metal project, I knew it was gonna be special.

This project includes his partner Sylvia Hinz, who I met when she performed a piece written by John with her trio XelmYa in Berlin. She now plays bass in Coma Cluster Void. Vocal duties are handled by no other than Mike DiSalvo, who was on two of my favorite Cryptopsy albums. I'm not incredibly familiar with the other musicians, although I did check out drummer Chris' band Thoren before.

But let's cut to the chase! Coma Cluster Void are really pushing it here. You know, as someone who grew up on Mathcore, a genre which is built upon chaotic structures and often overwhelming technicality, and has moved on to really fall in love with atonality and dissonance further down the line, I sometimes feel like I've heard it all. And with that being said, 'Mind Cemeteries' doesn't necessary present anything I haven't heard before, but it pushes the elements it consists of further than what most of us are used to.

Coma Cluster Void's "anti-grooves" are probably even more chaotic and entangled than the sweeping blow of a Mathgrind classic that Ion Dissonance unleashed with 'Solace' about a decade ago. And the level of dissonance is nothing short of ubiquitous. You will not find a forgiving or loosening melody on this album. Zero. The atonality is punishingly intense at all times.

And not only that... Coma Cluster Void also operate with a low end that puts Meshuggah to shame. John plays a 10-string guitar and while I usually find everything beyond 8 strings ridiculous and useless, it certainly is anything but in this band. I know he uses some weird and dissonant as fuck open tuning and was actually certain he would pull it off, despite my general reservations with such guitars. And 'Mind Cemeteries' is proof of that. You probably need people thinking outside of the box with these types of instruments. I'm pretty sure that 4 out of the 5 people on earth who actually bought a 10-string guitar either don't know what to do with it or senselessly chug themselves to sleep on the lowest strings.

The only thing I have a hard time telling apart is the dual vocal performance. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the vocals on 'Mind Cemeteries'. They are an intensely growling assault, reeking of pain and mental suffering. But both vocalists, DiSalvo and Taylor, seem to have a fairly similar range. Not that it's a disadvantage... the end justifies the means, right?!

Let me try to wrap this up. 'Mind Cemeteries' is really eating away at me in the best possible ways. It is filled to the brim with everything I (have) love(d) about extreme music throughout the years: Chaos, dissonance and a pummeling low end! Coma Cluster Void are not reinventing the wheel, but they made a wheel that goes further while crushing everything in its way. If there ever was an album that could rival some of the groundbreaking releases in forward thinking extreme music, this is probably it. I am extremely impressed with 'Mind Cemeteries' and feel like it will hit the underground like a sledgehammer. But it's also a tough pill to swallow. Lots of "regular" extreme Metal people out there will simply collapse under the weight and density of it. But to me personally, this challenging listen makes the experience just that much more rewarding. All I could still wish for is for Coma Cluster Void to become a touring band. I want to witness the madness live and loud!