Surrealith, the debut EP from Oberlin, OH-based instrumental death metallers Existential Animals, exists in geologic terms, with explosive guitars conjuring millennia of volcanic destruction and ten-ton drumming harkening to miles of osmium-dense bedrock. Like its themes, the EP has a wide-reaching perspective on time and on music, refusing to be boxed into any set of stylistic or temporal boundaries. Drawing upon the unflinching technicality and terror tactics of the Faceless, the enigmatic shred of Animals As Leaders, and the insectile grooves of Gorod, guitarist and composer Mark M-R has managed to create something entirely new. This is no surprise given the five years he’s spent writing for MetalSucks.net
, constantly absorbing, transmuting, and taking ownership of metal’s myriad possibilities.
This omnivorous tendency show itself in Surrealith's songwriting, where the riffs, breakdowns and solos prove that death metal no longer needs vocals to stay engaging. Minimalist production highlights both Mark’s raw abilities and his no-bullshit songwriting, rather than hiding flaws and shortcomings behind studio wizardry. This makes for a release that’s both immediate in its impact and continuous in its playability. Existential Animals have nothing to hide, but for the faint of heart, they might be something to hide from.
The EP also features the band’s first foray into vocal-driven music, with a bonus track featuring the utterly feculent vocalizations of Will Smith (of NY dissonance-mongers Artificial Brain). The cover art comes courtesy of renowned painter Paolo Girardi.
released 14 October 2014
All songs written by Mark M-R
Recorded between July 30 and Aug 2, 2014 at Parade Outrageous Studios in Santa Cruz, CA.
Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Max Zigman
Produced by Max Zigman and Existential Animals
Vocals on "Stalked Vestige" courtesy of Will Smith of Artificial Brain, recorded August 29 by Keith Moore at Audio Playground
Cover art by Paolo Girardi
Logo & graphic design by Yuri Popowycz and Cameron Almasi
Digipak layout by Yuri Popowycz
Special thanks to: Craig Peters, Adrian Carpenter, Clay Wortmann, and everyone in Artificial Brain and Wings Denied