Reviews (Thoughts From A Stone)

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Coma Cluster Void (USA/Canada/Germany) -Thoughts From A Stone (Experimental Death Metal, Translation Loss Records)

Coma Cluster Void burst onto the scene in 2016 with their debut Mind Cemeteries. Melding near-atonal riffing and mercurial time-signature changes with an ultra-aggressive dual vocal attack courtesy of Mike DiSalvo (ex-Cryptopsy) and Austin Taylor (Dimensionless), the album was a unique and challenging listen. Follow-up Thoughts From A Stone is a different beast, taking form as a single, sprawling 23-minute composition. Strieder’s 10-strong guitar is as crushing, grooving, and agile as ever, Sylvia Hinz’s bubbling bass is much louder in the mix and Chris Burrows’ drumming is octopus-like. And a horde of vocal contributors rant, roar, shriek, and even sing, producing a soundtrack to mental breakdown like nothing I’ve heard before. A truly difficult, but rewarding and memorable experience. ~ Wyeth Holman


Coma Cluster Void stirred up plenty of dissonant madness on their debut, 2016’s Mind Cemeteries. Conjuring up images and sounds of the most forward-thinking and crazed music out there (a la Pyrrhon and Imperial Triumphant), they brought forth some eerie and chaotic material in a way that brought them into a path of their own. The 1-track, 21-minute “Thoughts from a Stone” continues their eccentric and unique growth in ways that lovers of the truly extreme should find exciting and unsettling.

It takes both finesse and a willingness to go around the rulebook when devising songs that push past the double-digit barrier. Coma Cluster Void seems to double-down on what worked for them with their previous effort and develop it into new and interesting directions. Three vocalists share some screaming/growling duties (Mike DiSalvo, Austin Taylor, and Genevieve DiSalvo), which gives it an unpredictable aspect in vocals alone. Bassist Sylvia Hinz may be the one that ends up terrifying the listener the most though from a vocal perspective, with some haunting poetic spoken-word segments that can be chilling (in the best way). But a song like this isn’t exactly all about the vocals, and the ambience and atmosphere make or break it. While the band can toss the fury and chaos up to 11 when needed (and do on several occasions), it’s the feelings of dread and despair that feel the most urgent. Unnerving, dissonant riffs lurk among cello and occasional violin to create a bleak and intriguing blend. There’s the feeling that you don’t know what is coming around the next corner – some math-y riffs, unhinged growls, frantic blastbeats, murky atmospherics, ritualistic spoken word, or rumbling low-end. Expect the unexpected as the song continues to progress.

Like its predecessor, don’t expect to grapple with everything that Coma Cluster Void has done on the first few listens. They set the extremity bar quite high, and the unique setting is one that can take some getting used to. But patience is rewarded with an album that feels as innovative as it does twisted. Equally spooky and engrossing, Coma Cluster Void is a band to watch as they continue to rise.


To begin, I’m going to say that there isn’t anything out there right now that sounds like Coma Cluster Void and there isn’t anything out there right now that sounds like Thoughts From A Stone. Both the band and this new release are entirely unique as they push the boundaries of metal and aren’t afraid to explore new avenues of metal and reach new heights.Coma Cluster Void is beyond technical death metal as they seem to be in a class entirely their own. Coma Cluster Void is an innovative band to say the least, and with Thoughts From A Stone, they further prove that there aren’t any bands out there like them and they further prove that they are in a class all their own.

The feeling that you get when listening to this record is a feeling of inevitable death. The atmosphere and soundscapes that Coma Cluster Void create all throughout this record are ones that are grim and ever so deadly. Thoughts From A Stone has a great tendency to pull you in nearly immediately and take you through these vast and striking soundscapes taking you on a great sonic journey.

More than the devilish soundscapes is the pure wizardry displayed on all instruments. Each track is incredibly technical and precise but never dizzying or disorienting. Everything on this record is calculated and spot on with nothing out of place what so ever creating a wall of sheer uncompromising death metal. From the incredibly spastic and acute riffs to the acrobatic drumming to the visceral and ever powerful vocals, everything on this record is done pretty perfectly. Through and through, Thoughts From A Stone impresses and the more that you listen, the more impressed that you become and the more that you want to keep listening.

Thoughts From A Stone is a record that you can leave on repeat and never get tired of. It is a cohesive listen front to back never skipping a beat. Through each track Coma Cluster Void shows off their incredible ability to provide you with some heavy, compelling and head spinning tunes that plant themselves firmly in your mind for quite some time to come.

With Mind Cemeteries Coma Cluster Void pushed the envelope of extreme music and now with Thoughts From A Stone they do so yet again. They seem unafraid to take risks and experiment with their sound and because of that they are incredibly memorable, entertaining and in my opinion unrivaled in their sound. You can’t get much better than this, and Thoughts From A Stone is certainly a stand out record for this year.

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Coma Cluster Void descend further down the technical death metal rabbit hole on their new EP, Thoughts From a Stone.

By combining discombobulating rhythms and grooves with Gorgutsian angularity and dissonance, Coma Cluster Void present the auditory representation of pure chaos through their outre tunes. Their music is dense and claustrophobic, confining listeners to tight spaces to be tortured by ever-shifting, disfigured instrumentation. “Technical death metal” is merely a jumping-off point for this band as they transcend typical genre tropes and carve out a particular niche for themselves within the scene, as made evident by 2016’s monstrous Mind Cemeteries. It’s ugly and unique, frightening and enthralling. Coma Cluster Void shine like a diamond in a sea of dull death metal.

Following hot on the heels of Mind Cemeteries comes Thoughts From a Stone; a short EP release that extensively builds upon the madness of its predecessor. The release is essentially one long, 22-minute piece of music broken up into six individual tracks. Each section bleeds seamlessly into the next, creating one cohesive, ever-moving composition that refuses to give listeners room to breathe.

ccv bandphoto green sept2017

The record begins with a myriad of discordant strings and haunting prose on “I Breathe An Awakening”, which leads directly into the lurching “The Silence and Gloom”. Here dissonant, sprawling guitars churn out slow and angular riffs and frantic, concussive drumming thunders underneath. Barely discernible, whispered vocals hiss among this lumbering instrumentation, creating a sense of unease for the listener. This short track builds quite an amount of tension that is released in the extremely chaotic movements that follow.

From “Sculpting This Vision” onward, Thoughts From a Stone becomes increasingly more complex and unhinged. “Sculpting This Vision” immediately assaults the listener with down-tuned, grumbling guitars that unleash a menagerie of groove-laden death metal riffs, which are marred by off-kilter rhythms and the band’s penchant for all things strange. The instrumentation is akin to the work of bands like Meshuggah or Car Bomb if they had been tortured by Lovecraftian entities for hours on end. The cacophony of guttural vocals created by Mike DiSalvo and Austin Taylor only add to the unnerving quality of the music.

“Thumb of Disease” is probably the most frenetic and volatile section of this piece. This track delivers nearly five minutes of behemoth-sized riffs that chug and stomp about hectically under the influence of nauseating, bastardized rhythms. Dissonant, noisy riffs often spawn from this writhing mass of grooves in unpredictable intervals and spiral out of control. As the swirling maelstrom of death metal insanity begins to die down, a familiar lurching riff from “The Silence and Gloom” rears its head again before the track slinks into the next.

“Mother, Dreamer” briefly abandons the chaos for a haunting section populated by ethereal vocals and soundscapes and sporadic bass leads, which are all lead by venomous spoken word from multiple band members. Soon the band’s avant-garde death metal stylings come back for more as the track morphs into a earsplitting section of atonal, intertwining melodies and chugging grit. Then as the track reaches its end, bassist Sylvia Hinz emits a soaring mezzosopranic wail as the EP’s final movement begins.

“We Are As Low” is not quite as rambunctious and frenzied as some of the tracks that came before it, but it instead focuses on slowly shape-shifting instrumentation that locks listeners into a confined space and chokes the life out of them. The song trudges along steadily, emphasizing every bludgeoning groove and atonal flourish, determined to batter listeners into the ground. The leviathanic chaos eventually crawls to a halt and the EP ends the way it began, with the same myriad of discordant strings.

Thoughts From a Stone is an ambitious and singular piece of music that helps put Coma Cluster Void at the top of the list of metal’s forward thinkers.

For Fans Of: Pyrrhon, Gorguts, Ulcerate, Car Bomb and Portal