There comes a point in each genre when it reaches a point. The point where it seems like the genre is just done. That one album releases which encapsulates everything the genre tried to achieve, and then takes it a step further. Sometimes this is the birth of a new genre, but sometimes it’s simply one excellent album. Shokran’s debut full length Supreme Truth was not that album for progressive deathcore. It was a great album, one of the best in the genre. Combining elements from Within the Ruins and Born Of Osiris’s sound, Middle Eastern influences and a more grandiose sound; it was a strong play from a band looking to put themselves on the map. Two years, a guitarist departure and a vocalist change later, we have Exodus. Does this album qualify for that description? Maybe it does.
When four young lads first got together in Liverpool, they had no idea that some enthusiastic yelping and screaming, two guitars, bass and drums could spark a revolution. They didn’t suspect that four working class chaps could form a rock ‘n’ roll band and make a set of records that would influence countless bands and encompass multiple styles, and write songs that people would still be enjoying decades later. This band, of course, is Carcass. Yes, there was that OTHER band, The Beatles, who did all those things, too. But this is an extreme metal blog, and in this existentially hellish alternate universe, Carcass may well be The Beatles.
As Carcass prepares to undertake a tour with “love ‘em or hate ‘em” blackgaze critical darlings Deafheaven, some of you may be wondering how we got here. Well, keep in mind that The Beatles’ own John Lennon spent a lot of time with more out-there avantish types in the 70s, too. He cranked out some borderline unlistenable noise with Yoko Ono which is, frankly, far less palatable than Deafheaven; but there’s admittedly a lot of screeching in both. If you’re surprised that Carcass made this choice, well, shows how much you know about Carcass.
Wait—John Lennon and Deafheaven what?
The EP format holds many challenges; it’s often a tempting escape for bands that mistake frequency of publication for quality. However, it also holds great potential for those who know how to wield it. Just like the 140 characters tweet, the shorter format of an EP often leads one to greater creativity, a distillation of force and purpose. When a good band releases an EP it can often give their music that necessary, final push into greatness. So it is with Ebonivory, a band whose sound is so emblematically Australian that you really don’t need me to geo-locate them. More than that, they also have a good album from 2015, The Only Constant. But, a year after it, they’ve released an EP titled Ebonivory II which completely transcends it, providing their music the focus and momentum it needed in order to truly transcend.