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Stereogum: The Black Market #2

Location:Chicago, IL
Subgenre: Progressive Black Metal

Given metal’s obsession with technique, it seems a little strange that the genre’s instrumental lexicon is more or less static these days. Then again, most of the low-hanging fruit has already been plucked; metal’s been around for 40-odd years, and virtuoso musicians have been pushing its technical boundaries for roughly 30 of those years. Surachai’s new album, Embraced, is exciting in part because it employs unconventional means to heave those boundaries a little further out. Main man Surachai Sutthisasanakul draws on European-classical composer’s tricks for his tangled guitar schema, and drummer Charlie Werber (also of the bizarre noise/prog act Guzzlemug) conjures up an insectile churn that’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. Even more exciting than these innovations is the fact that when you listen to “Sentinel,” you don’t hear the esoteric details. You hear flowing, melodic black metal, as organic and natural as breath. Rarely can a metal act thrill both the mind and the soul as this band does. Spin the full album on Surachai’s Bandcamp. [Trash Audio] –DM


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