In terms of single songs, long-form death metal is fairly different from its shorter counterpart—the tight song structures and hooks that make a four-minute song work don't have much in common with the sprawling explorations that longer, 10+ minute efforts involve. Even when given a little room to breathe, however, death metal's aggressive riffs and sense of pressure are unmistakable. While it takes some getting into, fully immersing oneself into lengthy death metal odysseys provides an unparalleled experience in tension and release—and an utterly shattered psyche. To wrap up the year, French progressive death metal band Barús offers up an EP consisting of two titanic tracks, and we're premiering both here ahead of its Friday release.

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The two tracks are massive worlds within themselves, but also show two sides of the band. "Fanges" relies on overdubs and layers upon layers of sound to overwhelm the listener, achieving a larger-than-life presence that's more atmospheric and sludge-leaning, while " Châssis de Chair," recorded live in the rehearsal space, immediately launches into violent riffs and bombastic blast beats. Both tracks include plenty of riffs, to be sure, but "Fanges" swathes them in shades of anxious noise, preferring to build tension through a shifting soundscape. "Châssis de Chair" has a more singular focus, showing a similar aptitude for creating pressure that draws from off-kilter grooves and powerful vocals as often as gnarled and intricate motifs. The band's control over cadence and selectively-applied devastation continuously escalates each song, only reluctantly relaxing as the song draws to a close. As the EP ends, with rumbling chords and clattering fills to match, there's no comfortable or logical resolution—just a sense that what's done is done, and there's no going back.

From the band:

Fanges is an EP composed of two tracks for a running time of about 35 minutes that sees Barús moving in several new directions.

The first eponymous track is a studio experiment of sorts. We wanted to start recording some material without having a song written beforehand and see where this more intuitive and empirical path would lead us. Additionally, we opted for an open collaborative process, broadening our line-up with two additional artists. However, the multiple lockdowns and constraints of 2020 turned this exercise into more of a remote effort, during a particularly trying time for all involved. A series of discrete movements and semi-improvised experiments gradually stabilised and fleshed out to form the structure of the 19 minute long track. Musically and lyrically, we wanted to convey a very acute and bleak sense of isolation, blending overbearing and claustrophobic atmospheres with elements of vulnerability and frailness that had not been explicitly present in our music so far. This contrast also shows in the production, with sections of very densely organised noise leading into others that are stripped down to abstract sound design, or even rather lo-fi elements as portrayed in the track's closing moments.

The second track, “Châssis de Chair”, works as a sort of deforming mirror by re-expressing many of the core elements of the first track, albeit through a very different approach. After completing the fragmented writing and recording process for the former, we felt an urge to create something much more immediate, more urgent and visceral. We wrote the track in the summer of 2021 and recorded it live inside our rehearsal space, with no overdubs or additional layers. It shows Barús as close as possible to how the band actually sounds, using the constraints of a live-setting to stimulate a more direct and riff-centric piece that mutates Fanges’ cold and murky plains into surges of raw and bestial energy.

As a whole, both sides of the EP are complementary facets through which Barús explores new mediums and strikes new balances in order to express the band’s personal strand of dark and introspective music.

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Fanges releases December 31st via Aesthetic Death.