Epistasis Light Through Dead Glass

Epistasis Light Through Dead Glass
New York City's Epistatis are one of those extreme, experimental bands whose musical pedigree is deliciously challenging to puzzle out. They're deeply influenced by the most dense and challenging experimental black metal, such as Dodecahedron and Blut aus Nord, with the tightly curbed and leashed technical aggression of Gorguts and a fractured but extremely intelligent engagement with songwriting (and song demolition) gleaned from more progressive sources.

The result is an exceptional sophomore effort titled Light Through Dead Glass, a record with the potential for towering rage and profound longing (captured brilliantly on "Finisterre"), the blazing atonality of "Candelaria" juxtaposed sharply against the weird, wailing exploration of "Grey Ceiling."

Vocalist/trumpeter Amy Mills uses the brass instrument as a different kind of voice, a second range of expression that often cries out it pain more plaintively and eloquently than her vocals; she prefers to torture her throat with blackened and wraith-like shrieks. While the composition and execution is stunning, the record falters a bit in its production; the Portal-like muddiness hides some elements tat would be better served with clarity, and a few more subtle moments in "Finisterre" only rise to the surface after repeated listens.

Despite this, Light Through Dead Glass remains a brave and challenging record. (Crucial Blast)