Geryon - Geryon
Gilead Media
Experimental death metal
4 songs (26:15)
Release year: 2013
Gilead Media
Reviewed by Charles
Good news, everyone! The drummer and bassist from Krallica have released an album of completely guitarless death metal. This kind of lineup remains pretty novel in metal outside of sludge, perhaps for fairly obvious reasons. Metallica gave their bass/drums duet from Kill ‘Em All the title of Pulling Teeth, after all. But it is pretty obvious from the off that this is experimental music, to which the addition of a standardised instrumental lineup would make little difference in terms of listener friendliness. So, to paraphrase Stewart Lee, this seems not so much like musicians building an audience as “refining” one.

Indeed, Geryon with a guitar would probably sound a bit like extreme metal serialists, Ehnahre. Admittedly, it is not quite as atonal as the latter’s Schoenberg-inspired jamz. Songs (inevitably, given the instrumentation) tend to take the form of an extended bass guitar solo (don't all rush at once): Nicholas McMaster’s grumbling motifs stretch in quasi-improvised fashion across Lev Weinstein’s double-kick drumming, sometimes the two things seemingly in their own little worlds, sometimes locking suddenly together. There is some sense of loose shape. For example, the booming, effects-laden polyphonic twanging on opener De Profundis certainly seem to have a kind of developmental logic to them, even if there isn’t really any sense of beginning or climax in the dynamics. Vocals drop in and out for stretches. Rhythmically, it is arguably even trickier, and the time feel of each track is wrenched hither and thither. On closer To Those Grown Silent the drumming sounds like it wants to maintain a steady-ish flow of blastbeats but it is bullied into slowdowns and accelerations by the bass.

Geryon is a pretty short album- under half an hour- and, believe it or not, not an entirely hookless one. Birth in particular, is probably the most listenable track here, as both halves of the band seem unified in pursuing a series of chuntering riffs. But, for sure, even if the approach here is ultimately not that remote from widely celebrated acts like Gorguts, its appeal will likely remain an esoteric one.

Killing Songs :
Birth, To Those Grown Silent
Charles quoted 75 / 100
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