Sunday, April 27, 2014

Epistasis: Light Through Dead Glass (2014)

Burying the Lead

There have been no shortage of bands drawing from black metal and making something that's not quite black metal. Add Epistasis to that list.

I'm going to bury the lead here, so stick with me a minute. This band plays dissonant, angular material that draws to mind, mostly, the most metal parts of Norway's Shining. You might also be reminded of New York hardcore-inflected black metal like Castevet or, to a lesser extent, whatever Krallice is. Some of the riffs are cool (opener "Time's Vomiting Mouth" is the best) and others seem like a bit of weirdness for weirdness' sake, but every moment of Light Through Dead Glass is at least interesting.

The only way you're going to be able to pin this one down is by reference to Amy Mills, frontwoman vocalist/trumpeter. Trumpetist? She plays the trumpet anyway. Having a bit of experience at blending the brass with the metal (including recent work with Castevet and Psalm Zero) no doubt enabled her to blend it in a way that it seems sensible. The trumpet, although weird when you talk about it, sounds like it absolutely belongs here, playing lead duties and laying out a mood with equal efficacy. Simply put, the brass is not the weird thing about this band.

I'm not terribly into the Shining-style angularity of some of these riffs, unfortunately. For those of you who are, you'll get even more out of it. But I am certainly impressed, and would be very interested to hear what they do next.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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