Axioma – Opia
Assembling current and former members of Keelhaul, Aureae Crucis, among others, Cleveland’s Axioma dish out raw and abysmal post-black metal on their debut EP, Opia. Comprised of five songs and roughly 26 minutes of content, Opia plummets listeners into a dark auditory chasm of which no light escapes. The release begins with the incendiary “No Devil”, which ironically sounds as if it were spawned from hell. Dissonant, cacophonous tremolo-picked riffs are churned out relentlessly as thunderous blast beats shake demolish everything in their path. The track morphs seamlessly from straightforward blackened stampedes and writhing, atonal sprawls throughout its five-minute duration. A haunting instrumental interlude titled “The Exit” follows next and features somber acoustic strumming and equally depressive piano melodies. This brief “breather” bleeds into the opening acoustic guitar groove of “No God”. After nearly two-minutes of meditative jaunt, the track rips into melancholic melodies and further into devilish post-metal marches, only to return to its introductory passage and end in shamatic ambience. “Cognitive Dissonance” rears its ugly head shortly afterward and churns out almost three minutes of sparse, slow-burning, dissonant melodies that flow into propulsive black metal bliss and towering dissonance. “Giver of Time” brings things to a satisfying close with a bleak marriage between frostbitten black metal and sludgy, unorthodox death metal arrangements in the vein of Colored Sands-era Gorguts. Despite its brevity, Opia is a pretty dense and atmospheric listen that will appease fans of black metal and darker extreme music in general. This EP is an indication that this Ohio act is poised to do some interesting stuff.
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Favorite Tracks: “No Devil” and “Giver of Time”
For Fans Of: Keelhaul, Hope Drone, Celeste and Terzji de Horde
Rhin – Passenger
West Virginia’s Rhin combine acidic AmRep-style noise rock and thunderous sludge on their pummeling third full-length record, Passenger. This 34-minute powerhouse is comprised of seven bludgeoning tunes that sound like the byproduct of when Unsane‘s metallic grit collides with Fu Manchu‘s hazy eyed groove. The record starts off with the explosive “Uncle Tuck”; a furious piece that churns out dissonant guitars, menacing bass lines, tumultuous drumming and scathing vocals. The storming track is followed by the one-two punch of “Unwell” and “Drag My Feet”, two of the album’s most hellacious numbers. “Unwell” weaves together propulsive, grimy noise rock with bouncy stoner grooves, while “Drag My Feet” unleashes hammering and brooding sludge stylings in abundance. Two longer tunes titled “Snivlem” and “Clay” make up the centerpiece of the record, and show the band really embracing their sludge and stoner metal influences. The seven-minute “Snivlem” is a slow-burning monolith that conjures steady, city-leveling riffs and ear-piercing walls of feedback. “Clay”, in contrast, unleashes melodic yet thrashing stoner metal instrumentation across six minutes. “Basement” marks the return of the album’s chaotic side with its erratic rhythms, noisy guitar riffs and skull-caving percussion. Finally, “Bad Timing” closes out the record with a wealth of pop-laden, upbeat sludge rock that would give Torche a run for their money. It’s fierce, unforgiving and undeniably catchy. Passenger is without a doubt Rhin‘s most monstrous and memorable to date. Fans of noise rock of all shapes and sizes would be doing themselves a disservice by not diving into this album’s gritty goodness.
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Label: Grimoire Records
Favorite Tracks: “Uncle Tuck”, “Drag My Feet” and “Basement”
For Fans Of: Unsane, The Melvins and Made Out of Babies