Dead Neanderthals & Aaron Turner - Corporeal Flux

01 Jan 2022 - Stephan

Noise-Rock, Avantgarde, Sludge | Release date: 31 Dec 2021

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With advancing age and the repeated experience that the reset from month twelve to one so far has never activated some magic switch which would suddenly change the trajectory of humanity to the better, one could very well argue that the celebration of New Year’s Eve is a rather hollow affair. But luckily for everyone who’s feeling that way there are some beloved traditions which still keep justifying the festivities. Like Dead Neanderthals releasing a sick digital EP exactly one day before the end of every year.

For a band mainly revolving around the idea of wringing maximal effect out of minimalistic ideas in a context of earsplitting avant-garde music, the Dutch duo’s discography is remarkably diversified. Ignoring all their other projects for reasons of clarity, 2021 hasn’t been their most prolific year yet. But just look at that little slice of their output, starting from last New Year’s Eve release Cosmic Slime, which was a pummeling drone and noise fest! That single half-hour track was followed by the Rat Licker 7”, which consisted of twelve drums and saxophone grind jazz mini massacres in tribute to the style of John Zorn’s Naked City and PainKiller classics as well as their own roots.

Meanwhile - and about to be released on vinyl in the coming months - Dead Neanderthals also performed an irresistably grooving, robotik kraut rock extra-long track as a quartet with three synthesizers at the Roadburn Redux streaming festival.

So what now? Once again Corporeal Flux is just one massive repetitive long-track, in which both stamina legend René Aquarius (drums) and Otto Kokke (no saxophone again, but synth and organ) build the disclipined hypnotic backbone, to which their guest Aaron B. Turner (of Sumac / Old Man Gloom / Isis) adds almost the whole slowly rising dramaturgy of the twenty-five minutes piece.

The whole thing sound like a mixture of sludge metal with psychedelic electronic loops and snarling static noises. In a steady mid-tempo it just keeps going and going - and considering the résumé of this group it’s quite musical and listenable at that. At least up to the point where Turner’s guitar leaves the path of carefully developed, atmospheric Morricone licks and explodes into shrill anti-eardrum soloing.

Every now and then when a certain climax is required, Aaron Turner also contributes his unmistakable voice. As anyone who knows the last Pharaoh Overlord album can confirm, his bestial growls and screams can refine any type of music. And so they are doing here.

All the components together add up to a cohesive whole, which flies by much faster than the timer wants to tell you. Given Turner’s background one could surely categorize this thing as post-metal, but anything Dead Neanderthals is something post normality anyway. Just with varying degrees of experimentalism. What you can count on is that it will always be bold, often quite sick shit - and most of the time among the greatest stuff you’ll hear all year.

So is Corporeal Flux. You can get it for pay what you want on Bandcamp.