Archive for music

Review: “Trinity I” by Pneuma Hagion

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on April 20, 2015 by masterinferno

Pneuma Hagion logo

Pneuma Hagion, from San Antonio, Texas, is yet another musical project of Ryan from Intestinal Disgorge (yes, he has about 20 billion different bands; and yes, I’m an unapologetic fanboy), formed in early 2015. Trinity I, released in late January of this year, is the band’s (well, solo project’s) first demo, and what a demo it is! The band plays a form of relentless, lo-fi, blackened death metal sometimes called “war metal” which has gained a fair amount of attention in the extreme metal underground in recent years. The demo’s three songs add up to just under seven and a half minutes of music, with no one track longer than three minutes – and the shortest, “Nous”, is less than two. The production is quite murky, but not brickwalled to hell and back like many modern death metal releases – every instrument can still be heard without too much trouble. The mostly mid-paced guitar riffs seem fairly primitive at first glance, but there is actually a good deal of detail and nuance which may not become apparent until after several listens. As far as I can tell, the bass mainly follows along with the guitars, not really getting too adventurous but rather adding some extra low end to the already crushingly heavy riffs. The drums follow fairly simplistic blast beat and double bass patterns for the most part, without getting boring or repetitive – with the songs being so short, nothing on this demo really overstays its welcome. Additionally, a few parts of the demo are accented by keyboards, though these just provide a few notes or chords to support the riffs, without ever really taking the lead. The vocals are extremely guttural, distant-sounding growls, occasionally veering into harsh whispers; and, par for the course, what Ryan is actually saying is completely indecipherable, especially since the lyrics remain unpublished. However, Ryan has expanded on the band’s concept a bit – and between the song titles and the band’s name (which is Greek for “Holy Spirit”), one may be able to figure out the generally Gnostic/Neoplatonic inspiration behind this project (more on that can be found in this interview). Overall, I definitely recommend this demo for fans of both war metal specifically, and underground black/death metal in general. Stream it for free, or download it for just a dollar, at Pneuma Hagion’s Bandcamp page. In addition, for the physical media fiends, war metal label Nuclear War Now! Productions will be releasing a cassette version sometime this year.

Review: “The Shadows That Stride from World to World” by Intestinal Disgorge

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , on April 6, 2013 by masterinferno

San Antonio-based goregrind¬† band Intestinal Disgorge have been flying under the extreme music scene’s radar since the mid-90s, putting out numerous albums, demos, splits, and EPs on various small labels to hardly any attention, much less praise. When I first heard of the group (currently a duo with instrumentalist/vocalist Ryan and second vocalist Jacob), I was actually more interested in Ryan’s other projects such as the funeral doom band The Howling Void. However, in the last year or so I started to develop a greater interest in IxDx, and with the recent (at time of writing, less than 18 hours ago) release of their newest album, The Shadows That Stride from World to World, I thought I’d offer my own opinions on it and maybe convince you kids to throw some of your welfare hard-earned money their way. Right off the bat, the album and song titles are an indication that something is different about this IxDx release. Gone are the references to gore, scat, and misogyny which have been the group’s bread and butter since its inception, replaced with names pertaining to Lovecraft’s style of cosmic horror (though the opening track “Consensus Reality Steps on a Thumbtack” shows that there’s at least some tongue left in the band’s collective cheek) When I first streamed it on the group’s Bandcamp page this morning, I described it to Ryan as feeling like my mind was “raped by gibbering horrors from dead dreams” (he insisted I put that phrase in this review, so there ya go, dude). The album’s programmed drums reach insane speeds of thousands of BPM, often drowning out the guitars almost entirely. Conventional riffs – at least catchy ones – are few and far between; the guitar tracks seem to have been cut up during production and reassembled into shapes evocative of tentacled horrors from beyond. A few tracks, such as “From Distant Gulfs Beyond Time and Space”, are straightforward noise, with guitars so distorted they sound more like machinery than musical instruments, and no discernable beat or rhythm at all. Vocals vary between high-pitched screams and extremely low pitch-shifted gurgles; in both cases, the lyrics, assuming there are any, are completely incomprehensible – but the vocals still capture the feeling of sanity-breaking Lovecraftian horror, as if Ryan and Jacob were actually being driven to mad glossolalia by Great Cthulhu while recording them. And, of course, one can’t write about Intestinal Disgorge without referencing the songs’ brevity. Eight of the album’s seventeen songs are under a minute long, and only four are above the two minute mark, though closer “From Beyond” clocks in at nine minutes – nearly a third of the album’s playing time. The band describes this release as “Lovecraftian Glitch Gore”, and I can’t think of a better appellation for it. If you’re into extreme music, or at least somewhat open-minded (or just get a perverse kick out of listening to this sort of thing), I suggest you give this album a try. It’s available on their Bandcamp page for $3, or more if you’re feeling generous – and you don’t want Nyarlathotep to come eat your soul for being cheap, do you?