From painful diseases to mass extinction, human suffering has always provided top-tier inspiration for extreme music. For myself, instruments pushed to their limits, either through technique or volume, feel most suited to render these topics -- maybe because when the scope of a problem feels beyond my comprehension, the music tackling it should be as well. Sometimes the resulting music is just cathartic revelry, but sometimes it can really pick apart our own understanding and give us something to think about.

Kavyk's blend of progressive, black, death, and doom metal is particularly adept at provoking introspection through heaviness -- their upcoming album Radiant Abyss, rich in oppressive atmosphere and overwhelming instrumentation, explores grim philosophies in vivid detail. You'll have to wait until Friday to hear the whole thing, but we've got the title track for you right now -- here's "Radiant Abyss":



After a desolate riff backed by sprawling tom fills sets the mood, "Radiant Abyss" gets into the meat and potatoes: ruminating guitar leads that never dwell too long on a particular motif, backed by complex drums that never seem to get in the way of the guitar, pushing the tempo along with constantly-shifting double bass patterns. Use of phasers on the guitars at points and extensive reverb (especially on the boomy toms) give it all a spacey feel, pulling away from the underlying menace and adding some room to think as you consume the track.

That headroom starts to flood with tendrils of dread as you decipher the lyrics, unravelling the cluster of fear at the song's core. That's a natural reaction -- vocalist/guitarist Troy Bennett frames the song as a mirror held up to humanity's greatest fear:

The song as a whole was meant as the reflection of daily struggle and turmoil that we experience on a day to day basis as people. The constant fear and worry of mortality that seems to plague our day to day existence. The inevitability of one day having to face that reality alone.


Radiant Abyss releases December 18th and will be available via Bandcamp.

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