Mon 2nd April 2018
Syrictus is the solo project of Erik Stenglein, otherwise found in sludge titans Northless. This is an outlet for death metal impulses, but this four track EP is much more than simple grunting ugliness.
This is death of the avant garde, with a slightly surprising yet completely welcome groove. It is perfectly encapsulated in the excellent opener Misanthrogenesis, which immediately showcases another consistent element - a restlessness, a skittishness that emits a tetchy unease. It is really good.
On Black Storm of Nibiru twiddly guitars greet you, spinning round and round, dizzying to experience, as though caught in a whirlwind, the pummeling death riff guarding all avenues of escape. Psychic Hollows brings in new elements, a mind clouded and confused but wandering into a meadow of light, there are stunning contrasts, not just across tracks or passages, but ongoing conflicts that illuminate, raging battery over positive uplift, jarring offkilter noise against the groove.
N'Gana Simbu completes with a sparkling techy display, the lowend grunts supplemented by the odd unnerving screech from within the storm, the final throes of a lost soul who wandered too far, now consumed within the vortex. The damning riff just prior to its end is death and doom extremica goodness.
It will appeal to death metal pioneer (Gorguts for example) fanatics, naturally, but there are definite ins here for those of doomier persuasions, and fans of the sludge mire of Northless will not be alienated. It is, across its short outlay, masterful, a truly wondrous, head-spinning listen.