Surrealith

by Existential Animals

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about

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.

credits

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

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Track Name: Stalked Vestige (Vocal Version ft. Will Smith of Artificial Brain)
Overgrown, abandoned in thorny barbs
Engineered slaves pay tribute, unpredictable God
Their vertical silhouettes the only vestiges left
Their souls aborted mid-senescense

Reaching to the sky - frail, crooked lines
Broken in the wind like waving spines
Blighted with no end in sight, predicted from a prophecy
A curse upon the land created in a lab
Mutating, a side effect, interrupting indigenous vegetation and trees...
Excreting aura of disease
Absorbed in swamps sifted from seas

Stiff roots and writhing, sick grubs
That wrap around secret funerals
Deep below the well-worn treads of hazmat function farmers
Existence is only a season, disposed in dimensions
Time is the vine that consumes kingdoms

Billions of fertile orphans
Strewn across the fallow land while
legions of their rotten fathers peel and crack from tip to tail
Husks. Flaking debris.

A landscape of jagged branches
Like cracks in a shattered sunset
Fragments of atmosphere
Falling away, ingested in stasis