Reviews (Mind Cemeteries)

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"As previously stated, I want to talk a bit about some of my favourite records of 2016. I've started with Coma Cluster Void, whose abstract take on tech death recalls the unfathomable horrors of deep space."


1997 movie spoiler alert: In the movie Event Horizon, the cast are sent out to explore of a long-lost spaceship that has suddenly reappeared. Only to find that the technology the ship was equipped with allowed it to pass in to another dimension that is analogous to our traditional images of Hell. Coma Cluster Void appear to mirror this journey as a space exploring metal band who have passed to another plain of existence. Only to return as twisted, perverse reflection of what initially crossed the divide.

The feeling of inter-dimensional horror is prevalent throughout. Intro Prologue eschews the screeching feedback more typically used to ring in such sonic extremity in favour of something akin to a score that accompanies the the rising of some great, unknown horror of cinema. Indeed, there is something entirely otherworldly about Coma Cluster Void’s brand of metal which stutters, grooves and pulverises indiscriminately.

The guitars crunch and careen; off kilter grooves give way to abstract, vertigo inducing riffing. The drums pound and pummel, yet drummer Chris Burrows knows exactly when to pull his rhythms back from the edge in favour of something more delicate. This makes songs like Path of Lies all the more powerful. While the bass work through out provides an earthy underpinning of the guitar while locking in well with the drums when summoned to highlight the percussive force of the drums.

And yet, there is a directness that underpins this album that gives the listener something to grasp between impressive, but at times overwhelming dissonance and chaos. The title track, for example, recalls Ion Dissonance at their most devastating. There is also a variety in the vocals that is not always present in such extreme music. While you’re not going to be getting any epic, soaring clean vocals, or much beyond the occasional spoken/hissed passage when it comes to a clean vocal line, barring Petrified Tears, which offers up the sort of broken croon that wouldn’t be out of place on a Starkweather record.

Vocalists Austin Taylor and Mike DiSalvo, of Dimensionless and Cryptopsy respectively, trade barks, rasps and roars with great chemistry and the different textures in their voices complement each other well, lending an added depth to an already deep release.

Mind Cemeteries is an album of destruction and transformation. A force to be repulsed by but in thrall to. Created by a band, who if you didn’t know any better, you would swear were not of this world.