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Stream in the Northern Sky #5 – Akatharsia, Slow, Fever Nest

Akatharsia

The Psychic Violence extended family has been on a bit of a tear lately. Ash Borer is currently touring, Fell Voices will play a one-off show in NYC later this summer, Vorde toured, and Vilkacis has rather quickly become one of the more interesting (and to some polarizing) bands playing the NYC metal circuit. Add Akatharsia from Oakland to that list. The band features current and ex-members of Fell Voices, Lycus and Negative Standards and delivers a grungy take on black metal. It’s pissed and ugly, but seemingly effortless—an at-ease feel carries throughout the atmosphere-rich demo. I imagine that won’t be the case when Akatharsia plays live, which it will start doing soon, but on record the sound gives the band a certain swagger.

Slow

Slow’s “aquatic” funeral doom is described as “underwater torment” on the band’s Bandcamp. The water theme is palpable—it sure does sound like drowning, but instead of a frenzied frantic trip to the bottom it’s more of a resigned, reflective acceptance of the fact. Mile deep, fantastic vocals and melancholic leads are accompanied by wheezing guitars. The five part album tells the story of a man who commits suicide by drowning. True to its name, this one rarely kicks into high gear.

Fever Nest

Columbus, Ohio’s Fever Nest packs a heavily distorted and demented gut punch, seemingly covered in the stuff that gives the rust belt its name. It’s crusty, but it isn’t mindless pummeling—a black metal base brings melody to the front on The Mooneyed and Paralyzed, but the nightmare vocals are more disturbing than your average black metal rasp. Unusual and unsettling, below Mooneyed is a cover of The Birthday Party’s “Deep in the Woods.”

— Wyatt Marshall

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