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Mycelia – In a Late Country Award winner

In a Late Country
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 May 2022, 7:16 AM

From the Eclipse Record’s website, “genres are a thing of the past. MYCELIA have continuously strived to defy the traditional boundaries between metal’s various subgenres, while still keeping their sound fresh and engaging. Drawing on influences ranging from Hardcore, Metal and Djent to Jazz and Classic film scores, the Swiss six-piece has continually baffled both critics and fans with their complex, heavy-yet-catchy arrangements. The band’s signature sound pairs groovy, crushing rhythmic sections with subtle, intricate melodies, on top of surgically precise drumming and vocal arrangements that range from soaring clean vocals to utterly brutal screams and growls.” The new album here contains 15 tracks.

“Prologue” opens the album. It’s an odd song, as clean guitars with a good deal of dissonance combine with spoke words and some background elements. I am not sure what the band is going for here, other than sad and desperate tones. “A Rude Visitation” begins with a dose of fat keyboard notes. They continue through the first few minutes of the song, followed by more spoken word. A heavy riff occupies the last minute of the song. “The Beginning of a Long Hangover” opens with a heavy, weighted sound, from harsh vocals that are all over the map. The riffs here are adventurous and dissonant, and the bass guitar work is quite audible. Besides the punishing Djent tones, there is also a good deal of electronica.

“Cryostatic Clubbing” is another interesting two-part movement. The first part is an easy, slow-moving sound with vocals that are nearly rapped in their delivery. The second movement is a much heavier affair, with a strong riff out of the gates, along with some really nice drumming from Marc Trummer. The vocals are varied here between spastic harsh offerings and more emotional clean parts. Punishing rhythms take the song from there, through completion. “Through Memory’s Eyes” picks up where the previous track left off, with brutal movements, and some more electronica. Meaty bass notes lead to emotional clean vocals, with a more straightforward sound. But the dissonant tones return towards the end.

“Towards the Melting Library” is two minutes of more spoken words and tight rhythms combined with super-harsh guttural vocals. These more brutal offerings are not without moments of melody, however, although they are buried somewhat. “The Librarian and the Flock of Birds” opens with more desperate and melancholy tones that lead to devastating rhythms of punchy snippets and heavy accents. “Conversing with Terrorists” features another chaotic sound that if you listen carefully is very well controlled. Each note is exactly where the band wants it to be, even know the end result will make your brain work overtime to count the rhythms. “Two Numbers” is a short blast of ominous tones followed by accents so heavy they pulverize the ground beneath you.

“An Appointment at the Doctors” begins with steady clean vocals but the instruments are working in dark and haunting tones. The melodies here are subtle and a bit buried. You will need to peel back many layers of brutality to find some. “Across the City and into…” is a fairly pretty little number that features melodies that are more accessible. The rhythms here are more linear but no less punishing. “In a Gas Station at the Outskirts of the Meth Desert” is divided into two parts. The first one moves with crunchy devastation in the guitars and vocals, with ominous notes hanging above your head. The second movement is just as hardened. “My Own Private Spot of Snow” closes the album. It’s a sad piano laden affair with spoken words talking about evacuations and genocide.

There is no doubt here that you are listening to a very talented sextet. But re-read the song titles, please. They are about as odd as some of the songs on the album. Prepare yourself for an assault on your senses that is as calculated as it is utterly anarchic. As heavy and ardent as the fringiest Death Metal band out there, and as odd as the most experimental Metal band out there, they seem to have found way to combine all of these elements into a cohesive affair. But after fifteen tracks of near madness, you just want to shut down and retreat to a hidden spot in your mind to recharge. Buckle up, and please keep your arms and legs inside at all times!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Prologue
2. A Rude Visitation
3. The Beginning of a Long Hangover
4. Cryostatic Clubbling
5. Cryostatic Clubbing Pt. 2
6. Through Memory’s Eyes
7. Towards the Melting Library
8. The Librarian and the Flock of Birds
9. Conversing with Terrorists
10. Two Numbers
11. An Appointment at the Doctors
12. Across the City and into…
13. In a Gas Station at the Outskirts of the Meth Desert
14. In a Gas Station at the Outskirts of the Meth Desert Pt. 2
15. My Own Private Spot of Snow
Mike Schmid – Guitar
Mike Fuller – Guitar
Marc Trummer – Drums
Marc Fürer – Vocals
Lukas Villiger – Vocals
Eugen Wiebe – Bass
Record Label: Eclipse Records


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