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Universally Estranged - Dimension of Deviant Clusters

Universally Estranged
Dimension of Deviant Clusters
by Leanne "Metal Maiden" Evans at 10 November 2022, 7:25 PM

Solo projects excite the hell out of me: any prodigious musician who can play a plethora of instruments well, gets my vote every time. There’s something thrilling and inspiring about the self-confidence of solo creativity, so imagine my delight when I saw UNIVERSALLY ESTRANGED – a band brought to my attention last year with its debut, “Reared Up in Spectral Predation” – has produced another addition for the Cosmic Death Metal scene. The brainchild of a talented guy simply known by the mononym “Brett”, UNIVERSALLY ESTRANGED draws strength on its ability to create a crushing formation of ominosities through well-structured synth work, potent old school death metal timbres, and goregrind style gutturals.

The sophomore release (out now through Blood Harvest Records), “Dimension of Deviant Clusters” explores this modestly chartered subgenre through a fascinating alternate existential plane (at least that’s my interpretation). Despite the record having its genesis in OSDM, this is an extravagant opus of exploratory soundscapes, creating something quite beauteous in its harsh display of brutality. “Prelude” offers a mystical glance into the cosmos through a cleverly formulated synth show, burning into a brutish down-tuned stomper in “Psychic Laceration”. It’s the pacing of the tracks that really suck you in, especially since Brett has a real knack for incorporating the caustic and malevolent contrast of aggressive death metal, interspersed with well-timed synth passages. At times, it feels like you’re listening to death metal on acid, yet there’s a very lucid quality to UNIVERSALLY ESTRANGED’s work where you achieve a sort of “cosmic death metal zen”. Take the fireball track “Between the Lacunae” with its undulating synth amidst high-quality drum and guitar interaction; there’s burning solos, with a mass of aggressive energy, which melts into richly heavy and calm synth focus. And let’s give an honourable mention to “Interlude”, another fine synth focused composition that harks to nostalgic 80’s waves and projects some astronomical cosmic vibes.

Whilst the more tempered synth solos are glorious, they’re sporadically so; “Dimension of Deviant Clusters” really is all about vigorous death metal-centric instrumentals. The title-track gurgles with a brooding heaviness and chaotic riffing in all its down-tuned glory, whilst “Memory of Death” drops the ride cymbal in amongst earth-shattering gutturals and lurking, hazy synth. “Corrupted Mind Palace” develops as the album’s earworm with vocals bellowing like a chthonic deity, pacing riffing and some dissonant infusions that penetrate the mind; it would be very organic to refer to the similarities and influence of BLOOD INCANTATION by this point.

As I said earlier, my appreciation for personal creativity is abundant, and “Dimension of Deviant Clusters” has been nothing but a soulful experience of brutally brilliant musicianship, finished with unapologetically lo-fi aesthetics, only adding to its authenticity. The album offers the wildest aspect of creation and the deepest dimension of imagination, boundlessly infusing diverse timbres and fearlessly exploring the collision of synth and death metal, marrying both elements as one potently damaging mix. If you’re a sucker for quality synth work and love your death metal on the more experimental side of things, you’ll love UNIVERSALLY ESTRANGED’s newest addition.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Prelude
2. Psychic Laceration
3. Devoured from Another Time
4. Between the Lacunae
5. Dimension of Deviant Clusters
6. Memory of Death
7. (Interlude)
8. Corrupted Mind Palace
9. Universally Estranged
Brett – All Instruments and Vocals
Record Label: Blood Harvest Records


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