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Estuarine – Nyarlathotep

Estuarine
Nyarlathotep
by Gary Hernandez at 09 March 2021, 12:50 PM

ESTUARINE is a solo extreme metal project out of Tampa, Florida. Hydrus handles all instruments, including drum programming. Hydrus started producing what he describes as Experimental Technical Blackened Deathgrind under the ESTUARINE moniker in 2013 with his self-titled debut album. To date, the project has cranked out three full-length albums and two EPs, the second of which, “Nyarlathotep,” is due to release on March 19, 2021. Although this latest EP is obviously Lovecraftian by theme, the previous releases aren’t. Which is to say, ESTUARINE isn’t necessarily a Lovecraft focused band.

The EP spans eight tracks, which seems like a decent stack, but most are under a minute long. The entire EP is less than ten minutes in length. The songs focus on themes associated with the character, Nyarlathotep, who makes multiple appearances in H.P. Lovecraft’s work. Like most figures in his writing, this dark being takes on larger life in the works of HPL’s followers years later. So, nine minutes and twenty-eight seconds of extreme metal inspired by or designed to capture his essence is oddly befitting. I should also mention the cover art by The Lung Swarm (Austin Weber) is also well suited, though a dark shrouded man doesn’t appear anywhere in its swirling masses. But who needs literal interpretation?

Musically, the album is frenetic but condensed to tight melodies and periodic swarms of tremolo. Vocals are guttural and hover at the mid-range. Hydrus seems better versed on guitar than bass or drum programming. Not to say that these are substandard, but rather his guitar work stands out.

Favorite tracks are “The Audient Void,” the penultimate track, and “Planes of Rotting Creating,” the final and the longest of the tracks. I mention the order because it seems that further out the EP gets, the better it gets. To my ears at least, these two are also the most distinctive of the tracks. The rest, suffering from a sameness which might be a matter of motif but perhaps more due to the brevity of the EP, come across as repetitive.

Altogether, “Nyarlathtep” is a quick shot of a sick dose of Blackened Metal. Like its namesake, it erupts out of the blackness and devours your being in very short order. Fans of Lovecraft and Experimental Technical Blackened Deathgrind or any variation thereof will dig this EP. It’s a short time commitment for what may be an eternity of haunting corruption.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Crawling Chaos
2.  Carriers of Shadow
3.  Prophecy Denial
4.  Hooves of Oblivion
5.  Bloody-Nubbed Exile
6.  Broken Subordinates
7.  The Audient Void
8.  Planes of Rotting Creation
Lineup:
Hydrus – Vocals, guitars, bass, drum programming
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 29 November 2022
 

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