So if it's not already abundantly clear, I have returned from my self-imposed exile, to once again take up residence here at Metal Abyss HQ; where the office chairs smell like cheese, the cafeteria is run by that little winged blue blob from The Phanton Menace who won't accept my credit card, and the editor is actively trying to have me bumped off. I wouldn't blame him, you should see what I did to the bathroom. So for as long as I'm still able, I'm going to be listening to new (and newish) music and share with you that which does none of the sucking. On today's menu is an album that I spent some time with during my hiatus and have found more and more to like about it with every listen. Waaaay back on November 2nd of last year, Turin, Italy's Noise Trail Immersion released their album Symbology of Shelter, via Moment of Collapse Records. This LP, the band's third, is like 43 minutes of exploratory surgery, sans-anesthesia. Diced into 7 separate tracks, the genesis of the recording was a single, unified piece; and through repeated listens I've found that the album is best appreciated as originally conceived. The marriage of mathcore and dissonant black metal is a surprisingly natural one; as the elongated, hatefully dark segues in a track like 'The Empty Earth I' are the perfect counterweight to the barely controlled chaos of 'Mirroring.' Taken individually you get the sense that you're only seeing one piece of the puzzle. As a whole, however, the ebb and flow of frenetic noise and electric meandering work nicely. Fans of Frontierer, Ion Dissonance, Void and War From a Harlot's Mouth are going to hear plenty on this album that they'll like. Thanks to some legitimately skilled playing, most notably from Paolo Mingoli on the drums who is a freaking HERO on 'Acrimonious,' much of what Noise Trail Immersion have crafted here can stand shoulder to shoulder with The Dillinger Escape Plan's early catalog. That's high praise, and I'll also take this opportunity to name drop one of my favorite dissonant hardcore records, the sole, eponymous release from Canada's One Eyed God Prophecy, as an album that fans of dissonant black metal that's been spliced with mathcore would enjoy. What a glorious concoction of evil noises that album was and it very much feels like a distant, hateful cousin to Symbology of Shelter. So while we're once again late to the party, at least we finally got here. Our thanks to the perpetually rad people over at Mind Eraser Promotions for slipping the advance copy of SoS under the office door however many months ago. You can pick yourself up a copy of Symbology of Shelter via either Noise Trail Immersion's or Moment of Collapse's Bandcamp pages. You can also do the whole social media following, friending, whatevering thing via NTI's Facebook and Instagram pages. And not that you need to be reminded, but you are always strongly encouraged to rip my pseudo-journalism on the Metal Abyss Facebook page. I'm a big boy, I can take it. Rage on! JPR
Video: Noise Trail Immersion- "Symbology of Shelter"