Dying Whale – Last Moments Of Misery
Released by: Nefarious Industries
Released on: February 3rd, 2017.
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Comprised of Matt Zagorski on vocals and bass, Josh Zorn on guitar and Eli Werth on drums, Valdosta, Georgia’s Dying Whale recorded this full length in February 2015 in their home town with engineer/producer Lee Dyess. The band has been around since 2010 but has recently undergone some lineup changes, with bass player Zagorski now handling vocals as well and new recruit Werth behind the kit. The band has previously released a split with Baboon Assembly Club in 2015 and a full length called Disorder in 2013 but this newest release is a bit more polished while still retaining the band’s intense, unhinged and unpredictable sound.
The album kicks off with opener Black Sky Absorbs You In, a two minute rager that puts the band’s obvious Jesus Lizard influence way up front and then doubles down with some extreme metal style vocals and hardcore style riffing. It’s an insanely energetic track that grabs you from the start and makes you want to know how the rest of the recording is going to shape out. This segues without stopping to breath into the second track, Thorn Sized wounds, which at just over three minutes is one of the most pummeling tracks you’re likely to hear as it blisters with ridiculous speed before then slowing down and bulldozing you with some seriously heavy sludge (before then again punching you in the face over and over again at a million beats per second). Great stuff with some impressive instrumentation thrown in here to prove these guys can do more than just make a lot of noise. One Final First Kiss spends four minutes in David Yow inspired Hell, with some completely unhinged vocals, heavy bass and drum work and some guitar playing that just comes at you from all directions. It’s absolutely killer and maybe the most intense song on an album full of very intense songs. When it does slow down for a second, it’s positively eerie because it feels so out of place. Track five, the four minute Distress, is a sludgy track that starts off with some slow, plodding guitar trudge that soon sees itself buried by howling vocals and devastating drum work. This isn’t about melody, it’s about mood and anger and energy and passion and violence – all of which you’ll absolutely latch onto as this track goes from slow to fast and back again with some wicked cord changes tossed in to appease the guitar nerds out there. Average Over Awful ends the first half of the record with a two minute mix of hardcore and math rock that hits the ground running and never lets up. If anyone was concerned about Zagorski’s vocals not fitting the bill, this track will set their minds at ease.
The second half of the record begins with the two minute Forged By Silver, which is no less pissed off or insane than the track that came before it, though it might be played with just a touch more ferocity and unbridled anger. This one kicks like a mule and it bites like a crocodile. The Cloud I Hold is a three minute slab of absolute vocal and musical insanity. How do you describe this? It’s non-stop fury, righteous anger channeled through precise instrumentation camouflaged by absolutely thunderous riffing. Denial is another two minute track, this one just as pissed off as anything else on the record. It’s followed up with The Tear Between Life And Love at two and a half minutes. Again, you hear a lot of Jesus Lizard here but it’s more in the way that the band plays and lays down those thick, chunky slabs of WTF than it is in anything else. Dreading My Exclusion is the longest track on the record, getting damn near the four and a half minute mark, and it’s a bit more melodic than some of the album’s other offerings, though really no less intense for it. Zagorski still sounds like a man possessed, Zorn’s guitar work still hits you from behind almost constantly and Werth’s drumming is somehow both technically impressive and completely barbaric. The Reaper gets us close to the finish line by summing up the band’s sound perfectly – intense, angry, insane and very precise – while the closer, the two minute title track, rolls over you like a wave of concrete to start before then slapping you around with an instrumental piece that really just does not let up.
You’re gonna need a nap after you listen to this thing.