I originally wanted to start this writeup off with a big reminder that Dead Neanderthals is, or at one point was, a jazz duo, but that doesn't necessarily seem fair to what was once referred to as the New Wave of Dutch Heavy Jazz. No, Dead Neanderthals–the union of musicians Otto Kokke and Rene Aquarius–transcended jazz long ago, instead opting to play pretty much anything they really felt like playing (something that really started with 2020's death/doom EP Blood Rite, but these stones were cast long ago). On their newest album, aptly titled Metal, Dead Neanderthals opt for something more, well, metallic and aggressive.

Though we know drummer Aquarius to be a blast beat fiend from other works like Plague Organ, as well as a few of Dead Neanderthals' more ecstatic works, his work with Kokke on Metal is more insular and difficult. Maintaining a steady drone-and-blast texture, it's Aquarius' heavily effected vocal performance which hints at any type of dynamics held therein, otherwise the album itself is a sensory overload of sounds, textures, and energy, all bombarding the listener without any type of respite. Metal once again shows Dead Neanderthals to have completely shed any sort of jazz trappings in favor of… whatever else they feel like doing, and this album's horrifying metallic deconstruction displays a sort of primordial metal mastery by what many still think is a free jazz duo.


From the artist:

We wrote this explicitly to play live for our tour with Old Man Gloom earlier this year. While playing, we became convinced the tracks deserved to be on a record.


Metal releases October 7th on Utech Records.

More From Invisible Oranges