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Entropia’s “Vacuum” is For Your Mind

entropia vacuum

The recreation of psychedelia with music is tricky business, but it can be pulled off, to an extent. Obviously, music’s auditory nature inhibits it from crossing visual channels; however, music’s atmosphere can grant access to at least some visual-like stimulations. These don’t necessarily have to be things like closed-eye visuals, e.g. music can help you recall vivid memories. Besides, imagery and sight themselves are just as lacking without accompanying sound, i.e. music has every ability to be “psychedelic” in its own right, influencing vision rather than vice-versa. More importantly, it’s how we collectively (attempt to) define “psychedelic,” a discursive process at best, and hopeless at worst. In our vain efforts to find One True Answer For Everything, we forget the entire point of psychedelia to begin with: the answer itself is everything and nothing at once.

Skip the bullshit and leave it to interpretation, then — and here’s one from this humble writer — Polish post-metal quintet Entropia‘s latest album Vacuum is psychedelic as all fuck. It riffs and blasts its way through a one-hour headtrip rife with overwhelming color, nuance, and dynamics. That’s to say: Vacuum demands (and induces) a meditative state, if you let it, and expects prime mental presence throughout its runtime. There’s a wonderful payoff here: an escape from reality, a disconnection from your inner monologue, a temporary release from your demons. An affected moment, if you will. Entropia’s heavily layered, groove-driven style of blast beat-laden post-metal might not work for everyone — this is okay, really — to be certain, though, check out an exclusive premiere of the entire album below before its Friday release date.

Vacuum, if represented as a wavelength, would have multiple key moments of maximum peaks and minimum lows; utilizing the extremity of black metal, the abstraction of post-metal, and the urging drive of groove metal, Entropia has constructed a veritable mountain range of emotions and sensations. Everything feels afflicted and sensitive, a hyper-aware state of being. Troves of heavily layered melodies backbone each song — whether they’re ascending or descending, the music is always heading in a direction, and urgently so. This gives Vacuum an endless, driving, almost anxious feeling, compounded of course by Entropia’s superb and esoteric songwriting and arrangement. But the layering — especially when vocals and synthesizer are involved — smooth out the delivery entirely. It’s layering complexity, actually, which doesn’t distract from the album’s flow; in fact, it reinforces and defines it.

Soaking into Vacuum means absorbing constant arrays of instrumental jammage (vocals, both screaming and clean, reserve themselves for only the most opportune moments). Individual instruments breach and then submerge beneath the music’s surface with sensational fluidity — this helps perpetuate great ascensions toward blasting climaxes which feel infinite in their denouement yet totally concrete in their heaviness. For sure, Vacuum is heavy in the usual sense, but also in the emotional sense: dragging you through the throes of existential dread only to hang you high atop a peak where the whole world comes into view. Although that view is merely a representation — in the end, this is still music — it is a psychedelic one, able to access you at your most vulnerable and, in some cases, your most aware. This is one strategy of many to write intense, introspective metal, and it’s a strategy that Entropia has fully perfected with this elevating new album.

Vacuum releases Friday via Arachnophobia Records. Follow the band on Bandcamp here.

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