• epistasis Light Through Dead Glass (6-track CD, £9.75)

    label: Crucial Blast Records

    Mini-album from New York four-piece follows their 2012 debut on The Path Less Traveled Records. Features personnel from avant-death metallers Pyrrhon (Relapse Records) and tech-death legends Malignancy (Willowtip). Recorded by Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, Unsane). New York-based Epistasis first appeared in 2012 with a selftitled album on The Path Less Traveled Records. Those early recordings revealed an interesting confluence of sounds—jagged arrangements traced with elements of prog, noise rock, black metal, avant jazz, even the influence of modern classical composers such as Béla Bartók, Arvo Pärt and György Ligeti. On Light Through Dead Glass, a six-song mini-album recorded by Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans, Unsane), the band reemerges with a much more focused, fleshed-out sound. Now a quartet comprised of Amy Mills (who has worked with Castevet and Psalm Zero) on vocals and trumpet, Alex Cohen (also a member of avant death metallers Pyrrhon and NY death metal titans Malignancy) on drums, Kevin Wunderlich on guitar and Doug Berns on bass, Epistasis delivers a dark new vision of atmospheric dissonance and surreal heaviness. Shifting from moody, understated passages of atonal melody into blasts of frostbitten, discordant blackness and lurching, angular riffage, Light Through Dead Glass leaks strains of spectral jazziness through the depths beneath the band’s complex, metallic assault. Mills’s ghastly screams drift vaporously behind twisted, lurching grooves and blackened blasts, offsetting the ghostly sound of her trumpet bleating in the darkness. These subtle, jazz-informed touches are met with Cohen’s furious drumming, giving the songs a churning rhythmic intricacy that seethes beneath even the band’s most atmospheric moments. Much like label-mates Ehnahre, Epistasis crafts a complex and unconventional sound that suggests as much kinship with the darker and more malevolent realms of prog rock (Univers Zero, Present, Red-era King Crimson) as it does with the more outré fringes of black metal, delivering a nightmarish dissonance shot through with visions of surrealistic violence and flashes of phantasmal beauty. Track Listing - 1. Time’s Vomiting Mouth 2. Finisterre 3. Witch 4. Candelaria 5. Grey Ceiling 6. Gown of Yellow Stars

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