Let’s begin where Somnolent’s track “III,” off of the Philadelphia black/death industrial duo’s upcoming album The Infernal Expanse, ends: in a slowly fading apocalypse. As the track reaches its foregone conclusion, shimmering synths follow shooting stars as they dive bomb into the planets below. The long ambient channels reveal Somnolent’s talents for sewing unrest. It’s an interplanetary experience that comes off the back of the track’s explosive opening. While the closing half of “III” is dark ambient that’s thick with prolonged cacophony, Somnolent throttle out of the gates. Give the full track a listen below.

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There is a natural progression in Somnolent’s “III” regardless of how dichotomous the track reads on paper. The dense opening minute layers black metal intensity, death metal tonality, gaudy production, and a disconnect from reality in a mix that Somnolent call “diabolical black/death industrial.” It’s as fiendish as it is unruly, even when Somnolent employ more recognizable riffs and grooves for the briefest moment to bisect the chaotic opening half and the spacious coda.

The song’s arc comes off as authentic due to the duo’s consistent framework. Every element on “III” finds a way to penetrate the skin and writhe about the nervous system. Sometimes it’s anxiety-provoking, other times it’s overwhelming, and in its softest moments, "III" is almost uncomfortably pensive.

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The Infernal Expanse releases December 3 through Sentient Ruin (LP/Tape) and Cyclic Law (CD).

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