Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Starkweather/Concealment - Split

There is something endlessly stimulating to me about experimental metal. The avant garde so powerfully challenges preconceptions of a genre that is so often worked into a corner. It's the type of music that forces us to come to terms with our own tormented realities and which enhances the listeners understanding of the genre by driving us ever further towards the edge of what heavy metal can possibly be. Starkweather and Concealment both have been making headlines in recent years and it's fascinating to see how they have developed. 

The thing about this split is that it emphasizes how challenging it is. Starkweather kick it off with a sickening 28 minute long masterwork that pushes the boundaries of traditional metal and hints at a lot of wonderfully weird stuff to come from the band. It's a bit of a mindfuck, but it's also the sort of record that can't help but to charm and to fascinate. Meanwhile, Concealment use esoteric arrangements and gigantic, sprawling chords to create something twisted and weird. Their sense of soundscapes are totally unique and suggest that the band is turned on to something far more potent and exciting. 

It's a true pleasure to really spend time with this release, in many ways it feels less like an offering from Translations Loss and more like one from I, Voidhanger. It's cool to see this legendary label branching out and it's really fun to get to spend time with a pair of bands who really make you reflect on what metal is all about in the first place. In some ways you have to wonder if this even IS metal. It's just out of this world, strange, powerful, and the sort of thing that you are going to want to really dig in too. 

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