Geryon- “Geryon” LP

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I must preface this review with a fact I’ve come to learn about myself: I often dread music that is described in any way as “technical.” This isn’t because I enjoy musical prowess on display so much as that I feel all music is inherently technical, and that most bands who make a point in showing off tend to lose the heart of what they’re doing. I’ve always felt that feeling and attitude trump skill and mastery. With that out of the way, it’s safe to say that I came into Geryon‘s debut LP with a bit of a chip on my shoulder, as it’s a project featuring members of tech-black wizards Krallice, whose music initially took me quite a while to appreciate. Luckily, I love to be proven wrong, and this album helped me realize that while my taste is something immutable, I shouldn’t let others’ descriptors taint my own perception.

Geryon’s assault begins with pulsing and shifting chaos accompanied by blasting drums and hoarsely bellowed vocals, setting the stage for something that happens to be a work of instrumental mastery but is not dominated by showy or flashy musicianship. Instead, the bass sounds like it’s being dragged through mud and soot, struggling to crawl back towards a familiar melody. I guess I should probably mention that there isn’t any guitar here. Instead, the sole source of melody on this album is the bass guitar, which proves a versatile enough instrument in the capable hands of Nicholas McMaster, whose work here could easily confuse the unobservant listener for a pairing of both bass and guitar. Because there’s already a lot going on here, it’s easy to get lost in the music, which is potentially a good problem to have, although I definitely have found that this album required repeated listens before it stuck with me. This isn’t to say that it wasn’t instantly enjoyable so much as that while there are certainly catchy and memorable passages, this album will not even begin to unravel without a couple listens with a good set of headphones. Once you give it a thorough listen or two, you’ll lose yourself in the soothingly constant drums and the jagged yet addictive melody lines that seem to fill the space between notes.

300 copies of this album are available on vinyl from Gilead Media, so grab one while they last.

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