Blackened Death Grind. Deathened Grind Blackness. Grinding Black Death. No matter the lens from which you view Cyanic from, they are masters of a devastating and delicious concoction. Although the San Jose troupe has been active since 2004, they only just released their first full-length this past August. But their dedication to the craft paid off, and Litanies of Lust Unholy is one of the most crushing debuts of the year.
The 26-minute procession is relentless and unforgiving, never is a breath of air or palate cleanser given a thought as the band barrels you into darkness. The song structures are steeped in grindcore tradition; a spider web of riffs intertwined, cycling ever forward, never looking back. They create a perfect, yet fragile, sonic foundation. One misstep, one slip, and the whole thing comes crashing down. And you expect it to. But it never does. Teetering on the edge of such devilish chaos is a masterful risk, but Cyanic are able to keep their balance above their insane sinkhole and thrive.
Vocalist Andre Cornejo spews forth his otherworldly horrors like a two-headed abomination, one inhumanly guttural, one superhumanly piercing, both equally terrifying. But the production gives him a seat just behind the rest of his band-mates, with the maniacal fret melting and carpal tunnel inducing percussion taking the center spotlight on the album. And therein lies Litanies‘ strength. The blazing speed of grindcore can often aim for attitude above all, shooting without even a thought to asking questions later. Cyanic lay out a dynamic evil plan, and follow it to the last terrifying detail. The music is complex and practiced, without ever giving in to the technical braggadocio that many modern shredders feel the need to show off. At one point the band counted as part of their ranks ex-Brain Drill and Six Feet Under bassist Jeff Hughell. And we’re actually lucky he didn’t continue on with the band, for his mind-melting technicality might have pushed the the LP over the precarious edge on which it already sits.
Through the deadly, charred blaze subtle hints of 80’s thrash will appear, only adding to Cyanic’s intriguing repertoire. The Voivodian logo is the first clue, but not the last. Every so often an undeniable Kerry King influence will present itself in the form of a lightning-quick, palm-muted demonically demented riff. Closer “Runes” even opens with an undeniable Angel of Death homage that dives into evil terror-tories that even the fellow Californians would be proud of. Nods to Terrorizer and other grind greats also abound, but it’s the amalgamation of Cyanic’s influences that makes them special. This is the sound of a band deeply committed to the world of extreme metal, and even a small dose of this album will prove they live and breathe the grimy fumes of metallic offal daily.
Recently signed to new Japanese imprint Ghastly Music, a new sublabel of long-running death advocates Amputated Vein Records, the band may now have become a stable creative force after years of lineup changes. Litanies of Lust Unholy has already set the stage for their success, now the world needs to revel in its power.