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Algea Is the Bastard - 65%

Spatupon, August 9th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2010, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

Do you ever come across something so god-damn mind-gobbling that you find hard to exactly explain what you're listening to, and even harder to try to review the sonic madness you've been abusing your ear with. Such is my case with this Virginian outfit called "Algea". Before listening to this single, I had literally zero knowledge of this band. I only came across this release by surprise after hours scrolling through black-metal oriented lists on "rate your music". When you enter the artists' page on the metal-archives, the band is tagged as atmospheric black metal/noise. However, I don't particularly think that that is the case with this release. There's little "black metal" to speak of on this release. There are no shrieking vocals so dear to us black metal fans. There is no ethereal minor chord progression which transports you to the netherworld. There are no blast-beats so common within orthodox black metal releases. I would also like to contend the added tag of "atmospheric".

Let me explain why. Generally, when a black metal band is labeled as atmospheric, you start thinking of grandiose abstract notions such as mountains, animals, nature in general in a few words. I will explain what I mean, by describing what this song is all about. The song is short clocking at less than five minutes long. This song is supposed to be a tribute to a project which goes by the name of "Man Is The Bastard". Unfortunately, I've never been acquainted with that band so therefore I cannot really comment on the level of similarity or inspiration which Algea drew from the former band. This song has a very industrial feel to it. When it comes to creating noise, the guy behind this project makes use of great oscillators in order to create a very chaotic vibe which although at first might sound like a complete clusterfuck, will make sense later on, when the guitars, bass, and drums kick in.

The main focus of this song is to break musical borders, or at least that is the way I seemed to have understood it. The song has a very sludgy vibe and is extremely bass heavy. The bass sounds like it was being molested by Lemmy and Cliff Burton and the same fucking time. The song paces very nicely. The ideas do not go anywhere, however, and we're just imbued with doom-inspired power-chord progressions and a lot of noise. What I found to be so damn strange is the fact that the noise produced by the non-traditional musical instruments, and the melodies created by the formal and more orthodox instruments seem to blend in with each other seamlessly. "Algea Is The Bastard" seems like a perfect adventure into unknown grounds, and is a great example of two severely different sub-genres of metal and avant-garde music in general, working together to create a very unsettling disharmony which will hopefully haunt you throughout your entire journey listening to this song.