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The Negative Bias – Tapeworm Pyramids Award winner

The Negative Bias
Tapeworm Pyramids
by Justin Joseph at 07 September 2021, 12:36 PM

THE NEGATIVE BIAS are an Austrian Atmospheric Black Metal band formed in 2016, since then they have released two(2) full length albums and one(1) split, with their most recent release being an EP, titled, "Tapeworm Pyramids". The only fault with this EP is that it's too damn short! It contains three (3) songs with one cover, clocking in at a time close to twenty-three minutes, however with all that being said, let's dive into this EP!

First positive about this EP is in the spirit it presents itself, even though it is residing within one vessel, there exist 3 distinct entities, one for each song, and in my opinion, this is a rather wise choice, since it gives the EP a unique trait to it instead of being one in which the tracks all sound alike or feels like the remnants of a past album, here the tracks each exhale a different breath of air and this is attributed towards the production chosen. The mix that courses through each track bears the responsibility of bringing to life the emotions and thematic elements that are imbued inside each song, for instance, the track, "Tapeworm Pyramids" expels a Black Metal aura, however it is draped in an occult like theme and in some instances a 'space-like' skin, this is due to certain ambient noises that are ingrained into the intro as well as throughout the track…. but how does the production factor as a positive? These ideas and moods that reside within the notes are animated through the crisp yet visceral quality of the mix chosen, as it accentuates the ceremonial atmosphere making one feel as though they are amongst a congregation witnessing a blasphemous sermon being spewed forth. Besides enhancing the atmosphere, the production also gives clarity towards each instrument, since the chords and drums evoked upon this album takes many technical yet intricate turns interns of the playing, the production acts as a medium for the listener to pick up every musical prowess that is brought forth.

Another highlight that shines throughout the EP is the musical instrumentation, as mentioned before, each song contorts into a different beast, and part of this transformation is owed to the musical abilities that is churned into a multitude of emotional currents that courses through each track, for example , "The Alpha, The Omega" still retains that Black Metal aesthetic, but it is veiled with fabrics carrying traces of melodic elements and sometimes a trace of folk like aspects, again, this is due to the instrumental elements, such as the tremolo picking that contours into different paths and wavelengths as well as the percussion which matches the intensity with the blast beats but also with the fills. One must also make note of the shift in the seamless transition between the three (3) tracks from a full on occult-like Black Metal playing to more Melodic then into a Gothic-centric territory with the third track, "Anyway out of the world" ( a DEAD CAN DANCE cover).

One of my personal favorite element on this EP would have to be the vocals, as the delivery evokes a feeling of a priest like figure whose face is concealed behind a porcelain mask that bears no expression, however the words that are expelled from his forked tongue is enough to twist the faceless mask into different faces bearing expression of abhorrence. What I appreciate about the vocal patterns used especially in the track, “Tapeworm Pyramids" is the aggression that is exhaled from every verse, and the way the emotions bend into the actual musical notes in a synchronous harmony. However, the vocals does take a stylistic turn as it features somewhat clean vocals, but more chant like which only stokes the blackened flames that lights this pyre bringing with it an image of a spirit being casted into a being while the person writhes in agony as the entity takes form within. On the cover track, "Anyway out of the world", the vocals transform into a gothic-like appearance to suit the cover, but it never deviates from the overall tone that is emitted from the EP, and I would also add the clean vocals here are well done, as it fits the aesthetic.

Overall this is fine morsel of an EP one that contains a ritualistic vibe encapsulated within three distinct tracks, the music speaks volumes for itself on this release as you don't even need cover art or any imagery to even conjure the idea that the music being brought forth comes with a chaotic disposition to the songs contained here and that's one of the most important attributes in my opinion, the organic feel that is presented. If you're a Black Metal fan or Extreme Metal fan, definitely give this a try!

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

4 Star Rating

1. Tapeworm Pyramids
2. The Alpha, the Omega - Nebulatorian Machines
3. Anywhere Out of the World (Dead Can Dance cover)
S.T - Bass, Guitars
Florian Musil - Drums (Track 1)
I.F.S. - Vocals, Lyrics, Concept
Anamnesi - Drums (Track 2+3)
Record Label: Vendetta Records


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