Reviews (Thoughts From A Stone)

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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