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Gnash – Shared Nightmare

Shared Nightmare
by Gary Hernandez at 05 December 2022, 5:37 PM

GNASH is a Blackened Sludge Metal quartet out of Columbus, Ohio. I’m not sure how long they have been together but on September 22, 2022 they released their debut EP, “Shared Nightmare.” And if you are pondering upon the possible significance of all those twos in the release date, well you’re probably on to something. Now take in the album cover which depicts a set of infant conjoined twins being stitched together with a . . . I don’t know, some kind of root maybe. And then, of course, there’s the album title itself and maybe you start thinking there’s a thread connecting it all together. Like a concept. Like David Lynch went and ate a bunch of mushrooms and then stared at H. R. Giger art all day and then recorded an album about it. Only if David Lynch was not a single person but rather four musicians who specialized in brutal Metal. That.

Actually, the narrative of “Shared Nightmare” is about a half of a conjoined twin who ends up dying and the other half just plows on through life with a corpse hanging on. “Weekend at Bernie’s” at whole new level. The EP comprises four tracks and clocks out at 12:59. Favorite things about the EP: The bog-tuned bass (Ethan Martin), vocals (Josh Richter) that sound like bile tastes, and discordant riffage (Nicky Richter) that is so wrong that it’s right. The worst thing about the EP is its brevity, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more of these blokes fairly soon.

What else? The slow tempo tempered with almost Melodic Blackened tones is a nice touch. The production values are pretty solid as well. I love the separation on “Amniotic Lake.” Keenan McNeal just chases his kit through all the hidden spaces and alcove of your headset. My pick of standout tracks goes to “Broken Mirror Image” for its thick viscosity and glorious breaks and “The Amniotic Lake” for its schizophrenic rhythm.

Like a lot of albums, the more you listen to this one the more it will grow on you—which is kind of counterintuitive because, you know, dead its about a dead twin. And even if the concept isn’t meant to be literal but rather metaphoric about the deadweight of unfulfilled possibilities that we haul around with us throughout our entire lives . . . okay, I just blew my own mind. Shit. Here we go for another listen. Anyway, go to bandcamp, search Gnashmetal, hit the buy button, put on your headphones, and steep yourself in the decay of humanity.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Darker Half
2. Broken Mirror Image
3. The Amniotic Lake
4. Sacrificial Bastard
Ethan Martin – Bass
Keenan McNeal – Drums
Nicky Richter – Guitars
Josh Richter – Vocals
Record Label: C-Squared PR


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