Coma Cluster Void
26th August 2016 – Self-released
01. Prologue: I Am
02. Iron Empress
03. Drowning Into Sorrow
04. Path of Lies
05. Mind Cemeteries
06. Interlude: I See Through Your Pain
07. The Hollow Gaze
08. Everything Is Meant To Kill Us
09. Petrified Tears
10. All Bitter Endings
11. Epilogue: As I Walk Amongst The Sick
Sometimes you find yourself at a place in your musical journey where you’re so fazed by death metal and its so-called brutality that a song called “Hammer Smashed Face” could just as well be a spa facial. In those times, you tend to need something that truly pushes the boundaries of the genre.
If that sounds familiar, consider yourself invited to take a wander into Mind Cemeteries, the debut album from Coma Cluster Void, a multinational, avant-garde death metal band reminiscent of latter day Gorguts with even less melodic content.
The amount of atonal, aggressive and dissonant music Coma Cluster Void have crammed into this album is staggering. Even the customary interludes and quieter parts of the album never give you respite: rather, they’re a quiet dread; the calm before an especially ravaging storm.
These qualities become increasingly understandable when you keep in mind that John Strieder, the band’s ten-string guitarist and main composer, is himself the composer of some incredibly challenging post-modern compositions, as well as the man behind the unsettling string arrangements on War From A Harlots Mouth´s swansong album Voyeur.
The usage of a ten-string guitar may lead the uninitiated to expect djent and neatly programmed drums but, luckily for those tired of djentrification, that’s not the case. Mind Cemeteries features the (in)human drumming skills of Chris Burrows, making sure the percussion matches the oppressive, sometimes claustrophobic atmosphere of the string section. Bassist Sylvia Hinz, unfortunately gets largely lost in the mix, which is understandable when sitting opposite a low-tuned ten-string guitar, but it’s still unfortunate as it would have been very interesting to see what she could have added to the album’s sound. She does provide her skill on double bass recorder for the interlude “I See Through Your Pain” and on the album closer “As I Walk Amongst the Sick” though, bringing another sonic element into the album.
Despite the music being at times quite impenetrable and atonal, i’s still incredibly memorable; there are riffs across the record that are (dare I say it?) quite catchy, including the blast beat section from “Drowning Into Sorrow” amongst a plethora of choice cuts.
The vocals, provided in a dual attack formation by former Cryptopsy frontman Mike DiSalvo and Austin Taylor, tend to stray from the cliched low grumbling noises most common in the death metal arsenal. The dramatic shouting of “Path of Lies”, as well as “Petrified Tears” in its entirety, are true standout moments – the latter includes panicked shouts, spoken word and even a little clean singing, which takes nothing away from the intensity. Taking even more of this more vulnerable/mentally unstable style, also found on closer “Epilogue: As I Walk Amongst The Sick“, and spreading it across the album really would have brought the album up to a new level in its entirety.
Mind Cemeteries may not be an album you’ll listen to every day and sing along to but sweet mother of atonality is it worth a listen. Actually scratch that – it’s worth several. Mind Cemeteries is a dense fucker of an album and you’ll need time to dig your claws into it – before the void reaches back and digs into you in return.