Reviews (Thoughts From A Stone)

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CCV's full length debut 'Mind Cemeteries' has definitely shocked the dissonant, extreme Metal underground and turned a lot of heads last year... including yours - unless you've been living under a rock, that is. But if you thought 'Mind Cemeteries' was challenging already, you better sit the fuck down for 'Thoughts From a Stone', because Coma Cluster Void are not making it easier for you this time around.

The EP features one continuous track that clocks in just under 22 minutes. I am not usually too fond of this kind of concept... admittedly, not even when Gorguts are doing it. But let's face it: More often than not, those single, long and drawn-out track releases are not technically a single song, but rather a number of songs thrown together and blended into each other by forgettable jam bits or "ambient" instrumental transitions. There are bands that can make excessively lengthy tracks work, but they usually have to be a little more free-form and "out there" for me to be into it, like Khanate, Kayo Dot or Ehnahre, to name a few examples.

You can add Coma Cluster Void to this list now. While 'Mind Cemeteries' had a more regular album track list, TFAS feels like a true, coherent musical piece - which comes as no surprise, knowing guitarist Strieder's background as a composer. 'Thoughts From a Stone' does have a track listing of six individual tracks (on Bandcamp), but those are more than likely linked to lyrical chapters rather than individual songs.

Either way, this EP is even more tough and chewy than the debut. It builds up with a quite sludgy pace, erupts in temporary frenzy, often collapses into hauntingly intense spoken word parts, only to throw you back into a raging sea of the band's signature, chaotic "anti grooves". The overall direction is more heavy than the debut, and it is seriously challenging, but still feels very coherent. And once it draws you in, you get a sense that all of the chaos and madness is leading somewhere.

And it sure is. The second half of 'Thoughts From a Stone' has some seriously deranged sounding moments and the instrumentation breaks out of your "typical" Metal setup as well. Not that a 10-string guitar in an atonal open tuning is that typical, but... you know, there is more to explore here. I could try to describe the climax the composition is building up towards, but I think you just gotta hear it for yourself.

Coma Cluster Void are not taking the easy route with this EP. With a debut as chaotic, atonal and intense as 'Mind Cemeteries', the international collective is now taking its art even further to the fringes of even the most extreme Metal niches. 'Thoughts From a Stone' is no background music. It requires all of your attention and will test your tolerance for chaotic structures and atonality. Its strength lies beneath what the superficial Metal listener will be able to grasp, but it's going to be highly rewarding for those of you who are willing to dive into it. Coma Cluster Void are true pioneers of their genre, at a time where most of us feel like we've heard it all.

You can pre-order the EP on quite spectacular looking vinyl here: