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Decibel Magazine Reviews To No Avail

SURACHAI – To No Avail

So, this is how it goes now: Everything that’s not 100 percent black metal gets tagged as experimental or post-black metal, even if its still about 196 proof? You gotta love how people strive to look down their noses at others, making themselves out to be more highly evolved while still giving the appearance of being down, yo. Whatever. In extreme music’s over saturated world, you gotta do what you gotta do in order to draw attention to yourself, though Chicago’s Surachai do well enough with artistic photography and artwork, classy packaging and, yes, black metal that does nudge at the boundaries of convention.
It must be said that the slab of vinyl that is To No Avail is a headphones record. Spin it in the background while you’re cleaning your house, getting cleaned out by the phone company or cleaning the pipes, and sure, you’ll hear some familiarity in the vein of Krallice, Tulus, Deathspell Omega and/or Bleeding First. Expect scathing speed duels and layers inspired by progressive rock, not to mention, a Swans/Neubauten-ish outro on side one that sounds like a factory imploding. However, throw on a pair of phones and you’ll be able to immerse your ears in the strata of guitars that ever-so slightly utilizes counterpoint divergence, a wealth of inadvertent overtones that add spice to the riffing, brassy effects tucked away in the second half of side two, and a cabal of specter-like vocals, which come at your ears from all directions like a swarm of possessed humming birds during the orchestral, yet soothing, outdo. – Kevin Stewart-Panko

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