♫♪  Crowhurst - “It Is The Mercy”

As genres smear together and the online network of the experimental underground continues to expand, distinctions between previously disparate scenes have collapsed under the weight of the omnivorous exploratory impulse. Projects have emerged with goals on opposite sides of this spectrum: those who flesh out a hyper-specific, combinatory style across a narrative of coherent releases, and those who seek to encompass as many diverse styles as possible under the banner of a single catalog. Both models find artists transmuting familiar tropes into original shapes, but the difference is one of scope. Individual seeds of inspiration can bloom just as easily into the distilled fragments of a single composition, or into entire albums that extend a single idea into longer forms.

The primary consistent factor of the prolific Crowhurst project, spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist Jay Gambit, has been a commitment to the forces of flux and chaos. Over more than 20 physical releases since 2012, Gambit and a wide roster of collaborators have tackled innumerable styles of extreme music, cranking out full-length albums and split tapes in the traditions of power electronics, post-metal, industrial, noise collage, and ambient drone (to name a few). Each of these incarnations of Crowhurst balances the evolving curatorial and performative input of Gambit with the specific talents of his comrades in arms, resulting in polyglot releases that differ substantially in form, aesthetic, and instrumentation.

The release of Crowhurst’s self-titled LP (due April 10 via Ivory Antler Records) heralds yet another reconfiguration — one that Gambit and his live ensemble have honed in performances over the last few years. The album showcases a strain of high-fidelity blackened doom metal, compressed into discrete compositions whose tight song structures, synchronized guitar riffs, and howled lead vocal passages demonstrate a degree of control and premeditation far removed from the project’s occasional journeys into untethered noise improv. Produced by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Whirr, Botanist), Crowhurst airs crushing drum patterns and hard-panned twin guitar leads at a pristine level of clarity as each track builds to a climax flecked with peals of distortion and feedback. Press play on “It Is The Mercy” and follow Crowhurst from a mire of vocal incantations and slow-burning guitar arpeggios up into a series of intensifying riffs that send the session spiraling off into tremolo oblivion.

• Crowhurst: https://crowhurst.bandcamp.com
• Ivory Antler Recordings: http://www.ivoryantler.com/index2.html

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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