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The legendary kings of the self-described New Wave of Dutch Heavy Jazz are back. Craters is another, heavier, foray into the Sunn-drenched territory that members Otto Kokke (saxophones) and René Aquarius (drums) first explored under the Dead Neanderthals moniker with the gargantuan Endless Voids in 2015.

Instead of the extended 8-member ensemble of Endless Voids, Dead Neanderthals opted to add only one member to the core duo for Craters--French bassist Maxime Petit. Petit and Kokke share a background exploring the boundaries of noise rock's grooves and the harsh touches of free jazz in Petit's band Louis Minus Seize and Kokke's MNHM. After the trio bonded further during a Dead Neanderthals/Maxime Petit solo tour, Petit's extended timbral palette was the natural choice to fill in a droning, drowning world of filth.

Craters a 36-minute epic that feels more like a brief flash of spine slipping above the surface of the void, is one of those records in which all of the instruments are so closely bound that they truly are one creature. Kokke's manipulated saxophone, Petit's grating, grinding bass, and Aquarius' droning, rattling percussion (fresh from a solo work on Utech Records) together with carefully shaped synthesizers put the cowls-and-cloaks scene to shame. I'll see you again when dark falls.

-Valerie Dorr

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Craters is out on March 17 via Consouling Sounds. Follow Dead Neanderthals on Facebook.

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