I’m fairly convinced in the existence of aliens, and I would not be surprised if some live among us. No, this is not some stupid conspiracy-level question about who really controls the government or anything like that. We cannot possibly be the only sentient beings in the universe, and there’s some cool shit on Earth that is so mind-blowing, it has to be the product of someone from somewhere else.
The music made by death metal juggernauts VoidCeremony is just one example of something that very well could have been created by non-humans, as it’s just too fucking loopy and astonishing to understand. Yet here we are, with album number two “Threads of Unknowing,” and we’re served with more genre-stretching, mind-destroying creations that split your psyche in two. Wait, I just remembered drugs exist, so that could explain things, but certainly I accuse no one of this mind-warping unit. The band—vocalist/guitarist Garrett Johnson a.k.a. Wandering, vocalist/guitarist Phil Tougas a.k.a. Hyperborean Apparition Mind (Atramentus, Funebrarum), bassist Damon Good a.k.a. The Great Righteous Destroyer (Mournful Congregation, StarGazer), drummer Charlie Koryn a.k.a. C.K. (Ascended Dead, Bloodsoaked)—serve up six tracks over an economical 37 minutes that defy sense, change gravity, and set the death metal bar so high no human possibly could measure up.
“Threads of Unknowing (The Paradigm of Linearity)” opens the record and immediately robs you of breath, the bass splitting cell structures, the roars crushing brain impulses. The pace gets swampy and sludgy, the growls menace, and then everything is laid to waste, ending in a pile of ash and bone. “Writhing in the Facade of Time” fades in from the universe before absolutely rampaging. The playing consumes as nastiness takes a greater role, speeding up as the growls gnaw into flesh. The guitars begin to explore before turning soupy, sweeping through the stars as cosmic winds begin to sting, cavernous melodies increasing the pressure on your brain. “Abyssic Knowledge Bequeathed” unloads with beastly precision, the growls scraping over wounded flesh, the bass stretching through eons, infernal spirals caving in your chest. Melody wells as the speed ignites, exploding and going for broke, scrambling your mind along the way.
“Entropic Reflections Continuum” clobbers, the pace stomping your spinal column, the growls speeding downhill like a boulder shook loose, hungry for destruction. The playing slows for a bit before it snarls anew, the guitars open up and soar, and your senses are just shredded, leaving you shaken and uncertain where to turn for mercy. “At the Periphery of Human Realms (The Immaterial Grave)” brings warmer guitars that float and a strange aura spreads and begins to take over your brain. The rumbling quakes the ground and the melodies repeat, going cyclical and hypnotic, making your nerve endings tingle as the instrumental piece slowly disintegrates. Closer “Forlorn Portrait: Ruins of an Ageless Slumber” runs 11:05 and creeps into the room, adding a progressive energy, the growls splattering on the walls. The darkness increases as the playing feels like it folds in on itself, blistering and destroying, the guitars turning into something alien. The playing gets weirdly elegant and even calming for a stretch, but it’s temporary as the growls go for the neck, the aura rolls into a thick haze, and the growls blister, everything ending in a pit of confusion.
VoidCeremony create death metal you can’t quite explain; it’s something you have to experience to understand, and even then it’s quite the journey to connect points. “Threads of Unknowing” is something that seems to originate on another plane, a different planet, and somehow we’re expected to deal with this and make sense of what we’re hearing. This is challenging but also a blast to tackle, a creation so fucking weird and wired, it leaves you bruised, but gleefully so.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/VoidCeremony
To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/voidceremony
For more on the label, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/