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Ysengrin and Stargazer Face a New “D.A.V.V.N.”


In the world of the strange, only the most unique and creative reign in the ruling oligarchy. There are so many pretenders — those who try so hard to be different that their effort (rather than their talent) consumes their entire being. There is such a thing as “trying too hard,” after all. It takes true talent to be different than to simply try. The pairing of Ysengrin and Stargazer is a masterclass of raw, bizarre talent in a sea of “weird pretenders.” Through their many individual efforts, both bands, operating from opposite sides of the planet, redefine and morph their unique takes on extreme metal (something more blackened in Ysengrin’s favor and, of course, death metal for Stargazer).

On the D.A.V.V.N. split, which is streaming in entirety below, both bands meditate on subtlety in favor of oddity’s usual “over the top” character. There is a lot to be found between the lines, the space between each note. Both bands choose the long, strange trip to make a beautiful, overarcing masterwork.

Continuing their series of spits, France’s Ysengrin yet again shifts their nebulous dark metal into a new amoebic form. Concentrating on the bass this time — no doubt a tribute to the great Necromantia — the low-end mass of “Mont Sitrin”‘s overwhelming mud places itself between the mystically intriguing (and quite beautiful) and the horrifying. Such monastic approaches are not new territory for Ysengrin’s Guido Saint Roch, who consistently spins the roulette wheel of styles. However, what makes Ysengrin so special is their equally constant mastery of each new attempt.

The legendary Stargazer needs little introduction. From The Scream That Tore The Sky onward, these Australians left more than an indelible mark on the manuscript of strange death metal. Following four years of silence after A Merging to the Boundless, their single track offering “The Molecular Scythe” follows a similar path of quietude to their splitmate. Though this is still undeniably Stargazer — technically precise and rife with melodic, odd phrasing and Damon Good’s remarkable bass playing — there is a restraint found here which sets “The Molecular Scythe” apart from previous efforts. A lengthy ambient guitar interlude quite literally slices this otherwise intensely meditative death metal work in twain — even so, a level of magnitude is felt throughout. Thus is Stargazer — masters of intrigue and the bizarre.

D.A.V.V.N. is out this Friday on Nuclear War Now! Productions.

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