In a world of extreme music, here are a couple of artists whose discographies are worth checking out, even if they’re not gargantuan.
Age Decay — “The Worm/ The Wretch”
Age Decay — a British band whose darkened sound feels absolutely massive — really zero in on capturing a mood with their work in their October 2018 single, “The Worm/ The Wretch.” Based on the lyrics, the subject of the song seems to be the speaker himself.
On that subject, it’s worth noting that the lyricism accompanying the work pushes it significantly ahead. While there remains plenty of great huge and solely instrumental music out there, this band’s work finds its way with lyrics in tow. The vocal work feels inescapable, like it’s crawling on the listener’s skin and making a home in their mind. There’s a creepy, shadowy sense inherent in the presentation — which feels impressive, really, since even in the context of a huge song (it’s more than 11 minutes long) they’re able to pack enough dynamics into their work to make it really stick out. There’s a ton of energy inherent in the song — it’s just not in your face. It’s been redirected.
There’s a dark, foreboding sense like the listener has been placed atop a shaky platform that black water creeps along underneath. The instrumentals don’t fade into the background, which feels like a welcome addition — they surge right alongside the vocals. There’s a sense that the band could really go on for much longer than their 11 minutes and they wouldn’t become boring (aka monotone). They’ve really got a punch, even in the midst of their doom. Overall, they’re really impressive.
Check out a remix of “The Worm/ The Wretch” from Ben Chisholm (who plays with Chelsea Wolfe) below.
The original track features below via Bandcamp
Communal Misery — Imminent Suffering
There’s a sinking feeling that few words would do well to describe Imminent Suffering, a three track release from Connecticut’s Communal Misery. The tracks could easily — perhaps — be categorized as anything from sludge to grind — but who cares about categories anyway.
The band’s work feels strikingly thick, grabbing the listener up from wherever they happen to be sitting or standing upon pushing play and forcing them to confront a reality of the band’s choosing. There’s a power resting in the tracks which begs to be let free; this power feels exemplified by the band’s adept usage of a whole gamut of musical concepts to get their point across.
That “point” feels like it rests somewhere other than in the brute basics of the sound the band presents. Instead, it sneaks up behind the listener, who suddenly finds themselves in an unfamiliar but wildly complex environment.
That, indeed, remains another of the band’s strong points. Rather than taking a bunch of different ideas and throwing them in a blender and out come their songs, when they go for something, they go for it all the way. There’s no second guessing present in Communal Misery’s work. Although it may feel incomparable to any number of available options, you know you’re listening to a forceful, demanding band that deserves — perhaps even requires — attention. In the end, they’re remarkably unique, and that’s hugely in their sound’s favor. If you need some unique heavy music in your life, here’s your fix.
Listen below via Bandcamp