The Syracuse, New York-based group Fed Ash have packed a staggeringly raging, bulky grind on their new album Diurnal Traumas, which is available now.
The record centers on fiery blasts of feedback-drenched guitar riffing and blast beats that have been intertwined with slower, more agony-riddled segments that give the record a kind of metaphysically grueling feel. The songs feel like they’re musically capturing moments of rage turning inward, when a figure at the center of the album’s perspective might start tearing their own body apart. The grim consistency with which the band perform makes the experience feel like the expression of anger is imperative. There’s not really a sense of catharsis on the album or anything like that — the record stays intense for its whole runtime — but that absence of respite does not detract from the crazed-feeling impetus driving the songs anyway.
The sound of Diurnal Traumas feels like agony incarnate, like Fed Ash have somehow captured the sounds of a mind falling apart. The feedback that courses through the whole record helps drive in this sense of true, legitimate chaos — track three, called “Place,” opens with about a minute of the churning feedback before devolving into gutturally heavy, sludgy riffs. The sludgy texture also pockmarks the record’s opening track, “The Eternal Footman,” and appears on tracks like “Familiar” and “Exposure,” the latter of which feels buried in the tension-riddled style. In between all of these segments, Fed Ash have packed in some staggering blasts of grind that feel very physically heavy, like a particularly pulverizing brand of the maelstrom. This grueling grind pops up places like the mind-boggling chaos that opens track four, “Nowhere.”
Progressing through the record feels like metaphorically running through a dark alleyway and dragging your face across the jagged walls because there’s simply nothing else to do. Thanks to the dynamic swings from the grind to the sludge to the feedback and back again, even the “stability” that might be present in other takes on grind and sludge is absent. There’s no real predictability in the mix other than grueling mayhem, and the exhilaration is wild.
Listen to Diurnal Traumas below — the album was released on CD via Astralands and cassette via Orb Tapes:
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