Epistasis: Light Through Dead Glass

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Epistasis: Light Through Dead Glass
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Epistasis: Light Through Dead Glass
Experimental Black Metal
Crucial Blast Records
April 1st, 2014
Release length: 26:35
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Epistasis is one of those bands that many listeners can’t seem to describe so easily. This is thanks to their largely Experimental Black Metal foundation that can venture off into odd or eccentric worlds. The New York based female-fronted group formed back in 2011, and about a year later issued their self-titled debut through A Path Less Travelled Records. For 2014, they return to release their follow-up album, Light Through Dead Glass, though this time through Crucial Blast Records. But is it a chaotic masterpiece, or nothing but a trainwreck of an experience?

“Time’s Vomiting Mouth” starts off slowly, introducing twangy guitar distortions that sound as though from a Rock album from the sixties, which get richer not too much further in. This can be felt again later on, though some spots have a thicker sound to them that works with the twangy bass. The performance carries a pretty crunchy groove to it (for lack of a better term) that might remind some of the authority driven riffs of early Beastie Boys material, though the trumpets performed by vocalist Amy Mills does give it a darker, more noir feel when the pace slows for those sections. Then there’s “Witch,” which spends a good minute and a half building a burdening environment before rushing straight into a furious Raw Black Metal of ruthless speed and hatred with additional shorter trumpet segments similar to “Time’s Vomiting Mouth” spliced in.

There are some Ambient and general Noise sections through the release too. “Finisterre” starts off with some softer riffs that slowly build to an unnerving and tense atmosphere. What follows takes the general Black Metal foundation and makes it sound more like it was meant for a Sludge Metal album. The enthusiastic performance and twangy distortion feels a little more upbeat overall, though as the song progresses the pace does slow again. For a moment it sounds like a sinister hand is being dealt, but instead there’s a hint of Jazz before returning to the Ambient start the band builds off of until the very end. “Grey Ceiling” kicks off with some acoustic guitars and distant trumpets. The sensation of dimly lit back alleys with a chill in the air is immediate, offering a truly depressing backdrop for the Mathcore laced technicality that is the closing track “Gown of Yellow Stars.”

Light Through Dead Glass certainly does bring in a good deal of variety to keep the just under twenty-seven minute album interesting at the very least. Not every single jump works for the better, but when it leads to a slower passage with the haunting trumpet it’s hard to be mad if the transition was a bit jerky or far-fetched. The most obvious example of this would be the use of Mathcore in “Gown of Yellow Stars,” and how out of place it felt compared to the other five that blend the Black Metal style with the other influences so seamlessly. If you happen to get the chance to check out Light Through Dead Glass, you really should give it a chance to show the potential Epistasis has, and will hopefully continue to strive towards perfecting.

01. Time’s Vomiting Mouth – 4:11
02. Finisterre – 6:03
03. Witch – 5:26
04. Candelaria – 3:30
05. Grey Ceilin – 3:06
06. Grown of Yellow Stars – 4:20
Initial Pressing Score: 7/10

Epistasis

Digital review copy of this release provided by Crucial Blast Records via Earsplit PR.