MOSS UPON THE SKULL – The Scourge of Ages/Imperial Summoning Review + Stream
As in the case of bands like Howls of Ebb, Morbus Chron, Virus, and so on, sometimes the concept of being “weird” is taken to incredible new heights, and that’s when a band like Moss Upon the Skull gloriously also comes into the picture. “Prog” doesn’t even begin to describe this band, more like “epicly weird” might be the better term to use here. Indeed, something truly incredibly hard to understand and even harder to describe, this Belgian band unfolds an absurd and cerebral alloy of progressive death metal before the listener, setting them up for a truly moving and eye-popping mind fuck of a listen. The clean tones and complex arrangements remind me at times of Krallice, at times of Gorguts, at times of Voivod, and other times even of bands like early Morbid Angel and early Pestilence, but the list of constant allusions and parallelisms in this band’s music could go on and on for days, even encompassing shit like King Crimson, Rush, and Naked City, as they seem to draw from a nearly infinite cesspool of influences to build their absurd and whacked-out songs.
In all honestly, these guys must be mega-nerds, and people who just love to think about things in absurd ways that defy logic. You could envision death metal as a punishing and gruesome assault on the senses or as a labyrinth of sound that harbors weird and untold truths…. Moss Upon the Skull definitely appear to be scholars of the second school of thought here. It is staggeringly obvious that these guys have harnessed some kind of higher power that common mortals can not understand and have become bearers of something sonically absurd – a mastery they then use like a weapon to crack open the listener’s skull like a coconut and to short-circuit their synapses, and lure them into a surreal sonic realm where things are warped and bent into nonsense and where little make sense. The guitar work is an unending arabesque of barely graspable time signatures and chord progressions that wrap the listener’s mind in an inescapable headfuck, all while the rhythm section dilates and shrinks time signatures on a dime, like a never ending tide – swelling and receding at will, all while the vocals howl and shriek surreal ramblings of the unknowable and the absurd. Today we’re stoked to bring to your attention that Danwbreed Records was wise enough to take the band’s first two (and only) EPs – The Scourge of Ages, and Imperial Summoning into a glorious 12″ LP that masterfully brings together all of the band’s recordings to date for a truly head-splitting listen that defies the laws of physics. If you like your extreme metal weird, cerebral and incredibly visionary then you’ve stumbled upon a recent gem in the realm of the most “mental forms of metal.” You can grab this insane LP here.