One of my favorite things about reading Heavy Blog is how there’s no knowing what you can stumble into. The possibilities are truly endless, there’s not really any genre we *don’t* cover, and with all the cross-pollinating of styles and influences over the years this extends to the things that really tickle a music nerd’s fancy. Out-of-the-box or challenge-type ideas that don’t quite make sense on paper until you hear it, like a Zeal & Ardor or Victory Over the Sun, where incongruous and disparate ideas mesh together to create something so wonderfully alien and enchanting they begin to make you wonder why you thought it was strange in the first place. So let’s chalk up another one for the nerds, because Devour Every Star’s Antiquity is about as unusual as they come.
This album is essentially a mixture of black metal and trip hop, yet I don’t think there’s anything else quite like this. While netra dabbles in a variety of different styles in the urban black metal sphere, it’s often the contrast and distinction between styles that lead the charge and drive the drama. Similarly, Cameron Davis’ other project Cicada the Burrower’s latest plays off this contrast, underscoring the dichotomy between black metal and jazz. Devour Every Star, on the other hand, has considerably more focus on bridging the genre gap, creating something much more even-keeled with an Ulver-esque naturalness. Of course the gloomy, moody vibes guide the way here, where solitary piano lines are as haunting as the subtle glitchy grain and distortion that hover about. Eerier still is how touches like this help to blend in guitars to the point where the interplay between these worlds isn’t presented as a juxtaposition, but rather an infusion.
Each of Antiquity’s nine tracks quickly find their footing, zeroing in on setting the tone and atmosphere, swiftly bringing listeners into “the zone” where it can drift by on a passive listen where articulated drum beats and creepy crawly bass lines slink about (see “Fractured Starlight Trephination,” “An Unyielding Infinite,” or “Peace Eternal”), or grip your attention with curious shapeshifting as tracks like “Bliss Overtakes This Intoxicating Simulation,” “The Punishment,” and “Bury Me With The Rest Of Them” lending some ‘tude with more aggressive guitar stylings and swanky licks. Go ahead, nerd out and dig in or just press play and kick back for a while, try it on for size. Like what you hear? You’re in luck, Antiquity is out this Friday, December 3 via Blue Bedroom Records.