» Blog Archive Kind of a Sleeper Hit: Carcosa's Debut EP, Absent -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News

Lovecraftian metal is something I’ve always been about. Eldritch horrors and savage, jagged riffing seem to go hand in and, and throw in some spacey reverb and you’re sure enough conjuring the Great Old Ones with your odd fascination with Cthulhu and Azathoth. Deathcore, on the other hand, doesn’t really delve into that territory too often, so when I stumbled on Carcosa and immediately clicked with what the band was basing their music off of, I decided to give it a try. I’m not one for the genre anymore, but every now and then I find a band that’s really cool and doesn’t sound like diet Dying Fetus or early Job for a Cowboy.

In case you don’t know, “Carcosa” is a reference to The King in Yellow, a collection of short stories by Robert W. Chambers from 1895. The titular character and Carcosa itself have been inducted into the Cthulhu mythos and appeared in many popular media pieces over the years. It’s an interesting collection of stories, but you can also get a graphic novel version that tells the stories faithfully and really gives you the impression as to why these Canadian guys picked the name. Bonus points to them for actually going with the yellow theme, too.

So how’s the music? Chaotic, heavy, nasty, tasteful. There’s a lot going on and it’s hard to imagine that it’s only four guys doing it, but even with the clean production, it feels entirely authentic. I typically like my deathcore dirtier and with teeth, but Carcosa are like an immovable object coming at you at an unstoppable force. There are flourishes of black metal here and there, a dabble of Meshuggah at times, but the band never leans too far into an influence for too long, only to bring it back to their own brand of deathcore before long.

The best part, though? This band has dynamics. The songs are a comprehensive, natural flow that changes and evolves over time. The production is very clean, as I said, but it’s not overly compressed to the point where everything stays at one volume the entire time. It’s an easy EP to listen to if you’re familiar with the genre, and refreshing if you’re growing bored with the genre.

More bands like this, please.

Absent is now streaming everywhere. You can watch the video for “Vanta Black” below.

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