Grief No Absolution: Eurostopodus Argus / Crypsis

Having released material previously on Australian labels Strong Cultures (2006's Hymns) and helloSquare (a 2008split CDR with Blarke Bayer Silhouettes), Grief No Absolution emerges from a supposed Southern Hemisphere origin with a two-EP vinyl package containing the seven-inch Crypsis and ten-inch Eurostopodus Argus (available as a digital album too). The group's self-described “bleak metal” characterization hardly captures the music's lacerating noise mongering though, to be fair, the material's not always so pile-driving. Roaring at the center of the group's sound are what appear to be vocals masticated into howling shards, while instrumentally Grief No Absolution's material is as raw and rabid as a scab picked so relentlessly it's become a cancerous blister. The four pieces on Crypsis are short, with the second EP's longer tracks bringing the total to thirty-three minutes.

Like an amplified insect horde burrowing into far into the underground, “Unveiled Cryptid” mutates from a bruising, rippling mass of distortion into a chainsaw rattle of ear-piercing squeals and grotesque howl. “Macroderma Gigas” convulses like the diseased churn of a corroded carburetor, while the rippling contortions of distorted wail and shredded squeal that make up “Bewildering Predation” sound primed to detonate. I'll confess I found myself laughing at times when listening to Crypsis, so dumbfounded was I by the insanity of it all.

Rather than blowing the roof off, t he three longer tracks composing Eurostopodus Argus are comparatively quieter: “Playing a March With The Bones of Your Dead” unspools as a black drone cloud for four cyclonic minutes, while “My Hands Are Your Fading Cinder,” like a muffled shriek escaping from a nightmare, wears its coal black shroud proudly. Finally, a seething windstorm sweeps across the twelve-minute “A Corpse of Intent” as bombs detonate amidst raging guitar distortion. Grief No Absolution's music obviously won't be to everyone's taste but those with an appetite for metallic noise may want to check it out.

August 2009