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Psychocephalic Spawning (2021), 7/10
Sarmat (2022), 7.5/10 [mini]
Liquefied (2022), 7/10 [mini]
Tantric Bile: Seminal Baptism (2021), 7/10
Tantric Bile: Baka (2022), 5/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Effluence, the project of Matt Stephans, debuted with the three nuclear-grade death-metal miasmas of of the EP Subneural Entropic Dysgenesis (2020): Microgliotic Viroplasm (at the speed of light), Intubation (littered with metallic noise) and Subneural Entropic Dysgenesis (four minutes of beastly noise and electronic effects).

The (mostly instrumental) album Psychocephalic Spawning (2021) managed to sustain equally unrelenting music for more than 30 minutes. The the acrobatic, hiccupping, vomiting Caustic RNA Transmogrification and the ugly percussive bombardment of Putrefactive Symbiosis (which also includes a cavernous growl) are postscripts of the EP, but the the cerebral Tentacular Cerebric Appendage belongs to a more complex art, with its insanely intricate and chaotic beats and strumming, and the two seconds of synth and the guitar solo. Some of this is certainly arbitrary: The Cosmic Incubation feels like a random pile of heavy-metal "signs" plus a piano (or vibraphone). The savagery is not tempered at all in the seven-minute Pestilent Stardust except that a recorder/flute joins the mayhem, the growl drones underneath the mess, and the instrumental fury is such that the whole sounds like a hissing animal, having lost all musical attributes (the ending sounds like shattering kitchenware). The ten-minute Ecstatic Starvation is less organic and feels like an absurdist sequence of audio stunts (the electronic doodling at the beginning, the break of metallic percussion, the squeaking saxophone, gongs and sirens, the quiet finale).

The EP Ballistic Bloodspray (2021) contains six very brief songs (12 minutes total). The hysterical bacchanal of shattering sounds Spinal Exposure is in line with the previous recordings, but the free-metal hurricane of Unending Seperation pushes further into abstraction. Miasma Of Entrails even throws a clarinet into the maelstrom, and ends with a minute of horrific sounds (no guitars, no drums, just some sort of alien musique concrete).

The absurdist circus returned on the 26-minute Undulating Alala, the only song on the mini-album Sarmat (2022). This time the vocals have a prominent role (Paul Acuna on growls). The cascading and abrasive flow contains wildly dissonant piano, a hailstorm of drumming, and squealing saxophone (first sounding like a tortured squirrel and then like castrated seagulls). The barrage is interrupted first by a lengthy intermezzo of jazzy vibraphone and then by a chirping sax solo. A catastrophic drum solo deflates the momentum and opens a ten-minute orgy of cinematic and almost psychedelic noise.

The mini-album Liquefied (2022) experimented with more cerebral and dynamic structures, like in Chop and in the truly feverish Mince (also a series of grotesque sax interventions), and with a broader palette of noises (Puree being perhaps the most varied). Liquefy, on the other hand, is pure insanity and savagery, a wall of hysterical banging and distorting, with the sax sounding like a strangled mouse. Liquefied incorporates jazzy vibraphone, swinging drums and an incendiary guitar solo.

Stephens also played in Tantric Bile, a quartet (vocalist Paul Acuna, guitarists Ollie Burgess and Hunter Petersen, and Stephens on guitar, piano, synth, vibraphone, marimba and percussion) that debuted on Seminal Baptism (2021). The 16-minute Seminal Baptism is another savage eruption of dense and magmatic free-metal. Tantric Bile's Baka (2022) was instead recorded between 2019 and 2022 by Stephens alone, and contains subdued experiments of ethnic prog-jazz and even easy-listening like Wanga (15:19) and Baca' (10:22), far removed from death-metal.

(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )