Style: black metal, instrumental, experimental, industrial
Label: Dod Incarnate Records
Members: Gunner Harkey, Stefan Klein ~ all instruments
Additional: Lauren McDonald ~ vocals
Not every band I hear gets reviewed. Some I just don't like, some aren't that good, some are good but the music sounds like too many other bands & not individualistic enough. Some of my favorite bands have yet to be reviewed cause they're just not that out of the ordinary, even if they do rock hard. My goal with this blog has always been bands with a personality or something interesting about them. I openly confess to giving special status to submissions from independent bands, but I have declined to write about a few for the said reasons. I don't have any qualms writing a bad review, though I tend to want to endorse bands over hurting them & with that in mind will always try to put in a bad review something good to create some sort of balance. I don't want people listening to a band just to hear bad music. I want them to listen to hear something interesting & perhaps be inspired. But, sometimes its hard to say something good about an album cause it's disaster on four legs. It's easier to write about the ideas of what the music is trying to do or about, than the music itself. Public Image, Ltd. made a legacy with their release Second Edition that attempted to not be punk or rock, but was a wandering Can-esque sound effects romp. It was about pushing the boundaries to the limit, perhaps even including the boundary of listenability, so everyone that follows doesn't have to do it & can get back to playing good old music. The album has since been held up as a legacy maker & cock-eyed inspiration. In the metal world it's hard to pinpoint an album that has done the same thing & at this point in time it's too late for something to be created. The early Norwegian black metal scene might be close but the artistic element is missing. Perhaps its because headbangers like to bang their heads not tap their chins in contemplation, or maybe because they're beer drinkings looking for a party not drug addicts gazing out from a fix grooving on the eternal immobility of the wallpaper. In terms of braving new directions industrial death metal band Dethcentik is interesting. In terms of listenability or musicality it's ghastly. It's aiming to be ghastly in terms of mood but its just ghastly across the board. Since discovering Sunn 0))) I've found myself interested in the world of black drone metal, that form of metal that focuses on directionless long droning notes over melody/harmony/rhythm & takes more interest in the organically created sounds within the sounds. Perhaps its my long time interest in Lou Reed & his experiments with droning that has led me here. As it is, my own music as Blank Faced Prophet is drone metal & has its own ghastly moments, I'll confess. Dethcentrik isn't exactly drone metal, but pretty close, verging somewhere between it & weak no-depth industrial. They employ largely instrumental songs with a focus on long drawn out notes, no melody/harmony or rhythm, some drumming, few layers between a keyboard or guitar & an often tortorous degree of distorted guitars with lots of directionless repetitious riffing. The undiscernable growled vocals are just another musical element rather than a focus. "The Demise Of Mankind" features a keyboard playing long notes abruptly cut off by overly distorted guitars repeating & repeating giving Dethcentrik a hearkening to early Mayhem, including the low-fi production. The distortion is so heavy & melody so weak & repetitious that one's ears gets into the space around the riffs instead of the riffs themselves. The rest of the five tracks feature more keyboards than anything, droning away with no direction or focus or any sense of anything but pure sound for the sake of it. The result will be a strain to listen to for most ears. There is a world out there that likes this type of music, as there's a world out there that makes it. Though, this type of music is often made simply for the enjoyment of the musicians themselves rather than any reachable audience & it's truly art for art's sake. The elusive audience that is out there will surely gravitate to the dark moodiness of the keyboards. They'll also enjoy the creativity of "Columbine Justice Spree" that includes a vocal narrative of the event against keyboards & strummed guitars, which includes only a slight touch of distortion at first but quickly goes into straight double bass death metal. I always welcome those musicians trying to do new things & push the levels of sound, whether I like the result or not. As a writer & musician myself I've often been more inspired to go in odd directions than traditional approaches. Even though the outcome has been less listeners & no market I've been proud of the experiment & it's often led to something more welcomed by the masses. In that sense Dethcentrik has achieved something to be proud of. Dethcentrik makes all their releases available for free online. Also of note, the band has come under criticism for their heavy use of distortion & poor production. They've found themselves with a video banned by youtube & been placed on a religious community threat list in Colorado. For a little obscure band they must be doing something right. This has also been called by one reviewer as the worst release of 2011.
(featured on the Roman Midnight Music Reviews & Interviews Podcast: episode 52 & 53 "Interview: Stefan Klein" (2 parts), May 2012, click here to listen)