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1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Coma Cluster Void is a death metal quintet consisting of Mike DiSalvo and Austin Taylor as Vocalists, Chris Burrows on Drums as well as founders Sylvia Hinz on Bass and myself (John Strieder) on Guitars. We started around 2014 with some little demos which got a staggering incredible feedback within the metal community. Shortly after, Mike DiSalvo joined the band, and in 2015 the line-up was completed with Chris Burrows and Austin Taylor. The Intro, Interlude and Outro are performed by XelmYa, which consists of Sylvia Hinz on Double Bass Recorder (as well as singing into the Double Bass Recorder), Alexa Renger on Violin and for this time, I took the Violoncello-part in XelmYa. The enframing spoken words are performed by Genevieve DiSalvo.

2. Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

A twisted trip into insanity, sound and instrumentation-wise based on Death Metal but bending towards a lot of other genres while stylistically always being just Coma Cluster Void!

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

The lyrics are set into the world depicted on the album cover artwork and circle around the enigmatic Iron Empress, almost like a concept album. Like the music itself branches out in many different directions, so do the lyrics. Take for instance "Drowning Into Sorrow"; Mike's lyrics are heavily laden towards water based expressions, essentially a metaphor for anguish and a depressive state of mind. In fact, all the songs lyrically deal with deep distress, somber regret, and despondency.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Coma Cluster Void'?

It's based on the song title "Lux Aeterna Void" from a predecessing project of mine. It depicts a depressive image of the hoped eternal light being just a void, a black hole. The Coma Cluster of galaxies became a real-world meaning for "Lux Aeterna". Also, Cluster chords are my favourite kind of chords and are used throughout this record (and my music in general) in all different kinds.

5. The band members live in different parts of the world, how does this work out in the recording process?

Usually I write a complete song and then program drums and record guitars as a demo. I send this demo out to Mike DiSalvo, so he gets inspired to add his vocals and write the lyrics (and decides which parts are meant for Austin Taylor); and to Chris Burrows so he gets inspired to add his drums and drum ideas. When the drums are tracked, Sylvia and I retrack our instruments without metronome directly onto Chris' drums and often refine and enrich our parts further. We don't like to quantize drums or ignore the drummer's groove when tracking guitars and bass. We want to be a natural grooving unit. Oddly, our Drummer is the only person in the band using a Metronome and GuitarPro ;) We are constantly communicating during the whole recording process and shape the songs into perfection. Lastly, the vocals are tracked. Mike and Austin have an equal amount of vocals on the record, often backing each other up but also often dueling each other.

6. Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

We had some cool offers, but none of them could release us in 2016. We didn't want to let the fans wait any longer! So we decided to go the entire way on our own. It was a hard decision, especially since our all-time-fave label was one of them. But for the next release, we'll have the luxury to choose more freely what to do.

7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of death metal and avant garde music?

What can I say, the reactions so far have been overwhelming! It's great to see, hear and read that people dig our music. It's also astonishing to feel being understood.

8. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

During writing this album, I neglected a bit my writing for classical musicians and ensembles ( strieder.composer.artist ), but now I'll focus again on many new works, some of them will be premiered this year. Our drummer's other band Thoren ( ThorenDeath ), Austin's band Dimensionless ( Dimensi0nless ) as well as Mike's band Akurion ( AkurionOfficial/ ) are working on new releases. Sylvia ( Sylvia.Hinz.Recorder ) has planned many concerts around the world, solo and with her ensembles. For example, in October she's with XelmYa ( XelmYa ) in California, some of my pieces will see world- and US-premieres there. Of the many other project she's pursuing I like to mention her colaboration with the painter Carola Czempik. It's a kind of a feedback loop between paintings inspired by Sylvia's playing, and playing inspired by Carola's paintings. A cool ongoing project, it'll be documented on Sylvia's youtube channel ( sylviahinzrecorder ).

9. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

There's a lot of undiscovered territory, and a lot of things we can build upon. We want to continue telling stories about the world of the Iron Empress. It'll be always dissonant, atonal, emotional and extreme - and without any compromises, that's for sure! ;)

10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I grew up with bands like Pantera, Crowbar, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel; as well as composers like Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern and György Ligeti. I think one can find in one way or another some echoes of these. Nowadays, I still could listen for the thousandth time to classics like "Clandestine"! My two favourite composers these days are Rebecca Saunders and Brian Ferneyhough. But there are so many more ... in general, I have solely interest in music that is dissonant and extreme, and that's all i search for and listen to. Sylvia on the other hand is performing so much and is surrounded by music all the time, she rarely listens to music at all, haha!

11. What are some of your non musical interests?

When I don't fantasise music, I paint (in an "abstract" manner). I also create artworks for bands, the "Mind Cemeteries" artwork was created by me, too. Art in general interests me, at least such art that I see or hear as an outcry about the bad things in our world, because that is for me the "function" of art, if there has to be one. But other than that, really nothing ;)

12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks for the support and the interest in our creations! \m/

We are happy to premiere Coma Cluster Void’s chaotic new single “Drowning Into Sorrow” off of their upcoming record Mind Cemeteries. The track is laced with Meshuggah-esque grooves, Gorguts inspired atmosphere, and Deathspell Omega induced dissonance. Fans of both prog, tech death, and djent will enjoy what this band has to offer.

The project came together in 2013 when avant-garde composer John Strieder and fellow conductor and instrumentalist Sylvia Hinz joined forces. Over the following years other talented musicians have joined their ranks to create a terrifying yet unique vision of death metal.Beyond John Strieder on 10-string guitar and Sylvia Hinz on bass guitar, the album also features a fierce dual vocalist attack from ex-Cryptopsy vocalist Mike DiSalvo and Dimensionless vocalist Austin Taylor. Rounded out by the brilliant playing of drummer Christopher Burrows, Mind Cemeteries also features vocal guest spots by well known death metal vocalist Lord Worm (ex-Cryptopsy) and Will Smith (Artificial Brain) as well. Check out the track “Drowning Into Sorrow” below and let us know what you think.


1. Prologue: I am
This gives you a good taste of what the album will bring you. For starters this album is going to be dark, plenty of dissonance, there will be sounds you are not familiar with, and it’s going to make you think. Yes think, because this bunch wasn’t making a bland generic sounding album. They wanted to push the limits, dig deep within your minds and unearth the raw emotion and raw sound. And that my friends is what Coma Cluster Void has set out to do.

2. Iron Empress
Right out of the gates this song hits you with so many things going on at the same time, your mind quickly tries to navigate through the notes being played to isolate each sound and what they bring to the table.  First you hear the guitars and drums. Then you hear vocals, Mike DiSalvo’s vocals are the first to invade your speakers, and I can’t think of a better sounding vocalist than Mike to bring the lower range, growling vocals. He brings a sound to the table that you just know, that’s Mike and this will be good. Now check out the drums for a second if you will. Chris Burrows is on the throne and you have to respect the guy for playing to this. It takes a different set of skills to be playing along to music as dark and dissonant as CCV.

3. Drowning In Sorrow
This song begins with guitars and drums and DiSalvo letting us have it with a sinister growl. For the next twenty five seconds they play a dark repetitive pattern until they come out of that with a pretty damn cool groove.  I think some people will have a better time with this song than the previous as it has a little bit more of a solid structure to it.  I find that some listeners like to have some solid concrete structure to follow along to. This is CCV’s best attempt at that, but does not take away from the sheer complexity of the song.  In fact I really dig this track myself. I mean the groove at the :25 second mark sounds great. And they revisit that same groove later in the song. But then there is the 1:13 mark where the guitars are hitting some highs and Burrows is blasting away while DiSalvo is hammering us with his vocals.  This is far too early in the album to call this my favorite, but I will say this may be a fan favorite of the album. And I can certainly see why, it has many elements that make a song good, but also interesting.

4. Path of lies
For the first twenty seconds of the song, is just simply bad ass.  As I am typing this I have hit the back button 4 times.  Just wrap your head around this brief section for a moment and try your best not to enjoy the sounds you are hearing.  Now for the rest of the song that’s following, they lay down a beat that you will find yourself moving to.  Be it head banging, tapping your foot, you will lock into it, and then before the song changes you will hear the words “ the cycle must now be undone” you will also notice another voice spitting some lyrics, and that my friends would be Mr. Burrows. Yes he not only offers his percussion skills to this, but his voice also. And while listening to him and DiSalvo at the same time, they are not that far off from each other. So the two actually complement each other’s sound.

5. Mind cemeteries
Ahhh the title track, typically speaking the title track has something to offer.  They chose not to hold back on this one. Chris is attacking every inch of his set while those dark guitar tones counter attack the bass lines.  For every bass note you hear, it has a counter attack from the guitars, and the drums are hitting on both at the same time.  The song takes a turn at the 1:38 mark where it slows down to a haunting stroll through the path of insanity. Yes I said it insanity, because that’s what I picture while listening to this song, a dark asylum hallway trapped by your own devices of one’s mind.  The last few notes you hear lead you right into the next track.

6. Interlude: I see through your pain
The interlude has the sounds of Xelmya playing which is Sylvia Hinz, Alexa Renger, and also  John Strieder. Now take  Sylvia and John in a different format with their experience, put them together and you will have something interesting. However as someone who took all the band classes in elementary middle and high school, I can honestly say that I had never even known of a double bass recorder even existing. Sylvia brings that to the table, an instrument I had no idea was a real thing.   That is what I am talking about here, you just took a few people with very creative minds, and superb talent and put them in a room together.  And what you have are those eerie sounds you hear building up until a guest vocal spot by Genevieve DiSalvo wraps this interlude up and transitions the listener into The Hollow Gaze.

7. The Hollow Gaze
Now this song is actually what I find myself listening to the most. Ultimately there is a no groove, there is nothing for the listeners to latch on to for comfort. This song is raw, its dark, it is jarring, and to me it’s the equivalent of hitting a nerve ending during a root canal.  While that doesn’t sound pleasant I have to disagree, I actually like that aspect of this song.  It’s almost as if they wanted to completely erase all the templates that the music industry has given musicians.  For example, if you don’t fit this template, then you won’t be successful.  They threw that right in the trash with this track.  For the first thirty five seconds you have a level of uncertainty that explodes when DiSalvo gets on the microphone. The rest of the band kicks things up a few notches and continues to play out until they hit a high point around the 2:30 mark. I credit this to John for his musical experience and composition skills.  I actually find myself listening to this song and losing myself in thought. I haven’t had music do that to me in a while. And why I say that this is an album that will get the listener to think. While it’s not a heavy and fast track , this is probably my favorite track on the album.  I can’t put my finger on it 100% but there is something about this song, it’s like there is a hidden element just locked away deep, but the only way to unlock it is to listen, and let that brain start processing the composition.

8. Everything Is Meant To Kill Us
This song is a right out of the gate hitting you with sounds from every angle, and goddamn those bells Chris, I don’t know how many he has, but I find that they really fill in the gaps between the guitars.  Mike’s vocals and Chris’ vocals are like vocal poly-rhythms themselves just adding to that multi-dimensional feel.   Thus adding another example of the brilliance of this album.  CCV are using poly-rhythms in all aspects of the music and aren’t cutting any corners. The song is a perfect example of sticking to the game plan, go big or go home.  Right at the two minute mark the song goes through a change and the guitar tones especially right at the 2:10 mark. That low raw sound fuels this song. You hear it again nineteen seconds later.  The sounds coming from my speakers is downright dirty and evil sounding.  And the song ends with Mike’s voice telling us “we never want to know”, which a damn fine way to end the song.

9. Petrified Tears
This song has all the same elements that we have covered so far, jarring, and dissonant sounds, poly-rhythms used with strategic execution, and dark vocals and lyric content. Want to note that Austin wrote the lyrics for this track, and comparing them to the songs that Mike wrote the lyrics for. I’d say everyone is on the same page when it comes to song writing and lyric content. Right around the halfway point of this song, they go through I change that involves a more abrasive vocal style from Austin. While this song is following the same elements as the rest, I just feel like this song didn’t give the 100% that the previous tracks have. However I have no doubt in my mind that this song is a little more of a “bring the listener down for a moment” track and will follow up by hitting us hard with all bitter endings.

10. All Bitter Endings
Boom, they hit us hard, right out of the gate, a dizzying blow of discordant poly-rhythmic sounds escaping from your speakers.  The beauty of this song is all the highs and lows it has. Almost like a sine wave there are equal parts of highs and lows that the listener will go through for the duration of this song.   As before Mike’s vocals just fit this like the usual suspect in a line up.  There really is no better person to handle the lower harsh vocal duties than Mike.  The guy’s voice matches the guitar tones, and the ambiance of the music.  The last minute or so we get a few last forceful pushes of catastrophic unharmonious and unrelenting sounds.

11. Epilogue: As I Walk Amongst The Sick
Basically a hauntingly evil (yet human) sounding track to end the album with.  When I say human, I mean there is the evil we imagine around us, and then the evil we know and see in our daily lives. you can listen to this song and hear the elements that make this a solid, and poignant track. This is a a satisfying end to the album, It’s relatively short and to the point.  They get the job done and finished this album the best way possible in my opinion. Leaving the listener wondering what they just experienced,yet wanting more.

I like this album, it’s so much different than what I have been listening to in recent months that it gives me a different perspective on the music. Again I will say I never knew a double bass recorder existed so for that I must thank Sylvia for expanding my musical library.  I going to say this and while it may be a bold statement I stand by it. This album displays a strong understanding of musical composition and is borderline genius.  Its one thing for a drummer to play poly-rhythms Terry Bozio had been doing that before I was even born. No big deal, but it’s a whole different situation when literally every instrument and member play poly-rhythms, including the vocalists, both mike and Austin as well as the guest vocal spots by Mr. Burrows and the other guest vocal contributors.   John and Sylvia have a good relationship and both are composers with a great deal of musical education and understanding.  So you have two power player’s right there, now add in Mike and Austin, both have a solid set of vocal chords, and are covering different ranges.  Ideally I must admit I prefer Mikes vocals, but hey my first impression of Mike came from the first time I heard Cryptopsy. That leaves a lasting impression.  Now wrap it all up with Chris burrows, that guy can fucking play. I have more respect for Chris after listening to this album than I ever did before. I just didn’t give him the credit due until listening to him under these circumstances.  But wait there is more, because this isn’t just a CCV album, because for a few of the tracks the band performing is Xelmya (John, Sylvia, and Alexa).  John and Sylvia are doing double duty on this record, and my god this music they play has a dark mysterious feel that could work well for movies.  Honestly I could see them playing some music for a David lynch movie. Yep I just went there.  People that know me well enough, know I am someone who likes fast and heavy, this is outside my normal comfort zone. And even though I have had this release for a short while. I promised myself I would not write up this review until I had been able to listen to this album in full several times to open up and hear all the different elements.  This album is awesome, it will leave some speechless, and it will leave some wondering what they just listened to.  But I think anyone would agree with me, that Coma Cluster Void push the limits with this album.  I feel like my horizons have been broadened by listening to this, and I won’t think twice about labeling this a 9/10.  Not everything has to have a catchy chorus, or blast beats, or finger tapping to be great. Sometimes it’s the music that gets you to actually think, that has more value than an album with programmed drums, programmed this, programmed that. Just so that there are no flaws, and it appeals to the masses.

If you like what you hear, then go on and pre-order the album

also follow them on FACEBOOK for more up to date information on Coma Cluster Void

you can also click HERE to go directly to their website.

-Badger \m/

Visit our FACEBOOK page \m/_(><)_\m/



Death metal, like any genre of music, needs a bit of a facelift every now and then. Bands like Gorguts, Pyrrhon and Ulcerate, to name a few, are all celebrated for their blatant disregard for death metal tradition and their willingness to take extreme risks in composition. It is acts like these that effectively push the genre forward and show that the possibilities are virtually endless. Experimental metal collective Coma Cluster Void is another one of these aforementioned bands whose approach to the genre pushes the envelope. This German/U.S./Canadian outfit’s debut release, Mind Cemeteries, builds upon what the progenitors of the technical and avant-garde established and creates a sound that is insurmountably intense, polarizing and unique to them alone. This fresh and wonderfully grotesque take on death metal  will bewilder and enthrall those who thought the genre couldn’t get any more insane.

The quintet is armed to the teeth with menacing 10-string guitars, bass tuned to subterranean lows, dizzying and destructive drumming patterns and dueling vocalists. This choice of auditory weaponry are combined to create a disfigured, writhing and dissonant style that sounds like the most complex parts of Gorguts, Meshuggah, Deathspell Omega and other forward-thinkers have been mixed thoroughly in a blender. The music on Mind Cemeteries acts like an aural representation of the titular creature in John Carpenter’s “The Thing”; constantly twisting, churning and morphing into more and more disgusting shapes.

The 45-minute opus features brief interludes placed at the beginning, middle and end of the record. These short ambient detours are comprised of haunting, abstract horns, which give off a Colin Stetson vibe, and a few short lines of vocals that are either screamed or spoken. In between these little sections is where the fun really begins. “Iron Empress” officially kicks things off with a cacophony of vile instrumentation. The guitars and bass lurch feverishly throughout, unleashing off-kilter grooves and dissonant aberrations with each convulsion. The drumming absolutely boggles the mind with its complex array of rhythmic busts that seem to conflict with, and compliment, the rest of the instrumentation. The dual vocal assault from Mike DiSalvo (ex-Cryptopsy) and Austin Taylor is the icing on this psychopathic cake, as both vocalists belt out myriads of screams, screeches, growls and other devilish ululations.

But “Iron Empress” is only the beginning, as the record becomes more abstract and vile as it progresses. Tracks like “Drowning Into Sorrow” and the tumultuous title track opt for a more sprawling approach that utilizes more spacing. Though these tracks do feature the occasional burst of chaotic guitar acrobatics, they are mostly comprised of staggering riffs that slowly and fluidly morph between one another, and are peppered with atonal, angular leads. The title track is particularly notable for its bizarre, pulsating rhythmic presence that sounds like macabre re-imagining of mid-era Meshuggah.  “Everything Is Meant to Kill Us” weaves together flurries of noisy debauchery with cold, grinding, mechanical grooves that call the work of Car Bomb to mind. “Petrified Tears” is also worth noting for its bellowing low-end and doom-laden crawls that jerk and twist sporadically in such a way that the listener’s equilibrium will be demolished.

Mind Cemeteries is a dense, frightening and delightfully strange release that no review will be able to effectively cover every facet of what it has to offer. Coma Cluster Void is poised to be another celebrated act within the death metal scene, thanks to this truly monstrous release that will leave listeners breathless. Those looking for a challenging and insurmountably brutal listen will have to look no further.

Rating: 9/10
Release Date: August 26, 2016
Favorite Tracks: “Iron Empress”, “Mind Cemeteries”, “Path of Lies”, “The Hollow Gaze” and “Everything Is Meant to Kill Us”
For Fans Of: Gorguts, Soreption, Ulcerate and Pyrrhon