Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
New York‘s False Gods return has come with the self-release of their sophomore EP, ‘Reports From Oblivion‘. I have been eager to check it out and take on reviewing it as a direct ‘Then & Now’ type of contrasting spotlight to their previously released début.
That, of course, was 2016’s ‘Wasteland’ (last week’s review) and like it, the newest effort features the lineup of vocalist Mike Stack, guitarist Greg March, bassist Brian Kaminsky, and drummer Paulie Stack.
This three-song outing finds the quartet continuing their descent into ultimate heaviness, in very fine form. Instantly noticeable is the absence of some of the more melodic elements of the earlier outing. Call it evolution or a doubling down, whatever, but it is clear that the guys prefer to explore unfiltered sonic savagery this time around.
Things roll out with a bit of a feedback-tinged intro to the first song, “They Who Speak To The Lost” (video below), but then the grooves come. They come in an uptempo, rhythmically hypnotic, almost tribal-like composition. Think of the finest excesses on the output of Neurosis’ early material. That’s a legitimate comparison to the vibes emanating here. The music pummels you at varied paces, all while alternating the vocals between abrasive guttural and shriek-ish high-end wails.
The beating continues as “Spirit World” descends, quickly taking on a cadence-type style of music. It writhes about, rumbling and wrenching forth defiling sounds. They seem to sluggishly ooze across the aural landscape like slow-moving lava, engulfing all in its path. Meanwhile, the vocals are of a tortured, throat-wrecking nature, the very embodiment of verbal aggression.
The third and final battery comes via the title track, “Reports From Oblivion“, which provides us our first surfacing of material reminiscent of last year’s début. The full-on exuding of more Southern Doom-like nuances ripples forth, right from the start. The multi-faceted vocals are present, the sludge and over-the-top melting pot of all that exemplifies crushing volatility are also evident. The turn toward headier, more atmospheric explorations are in full effect in the latter half of the song, as well.
Where ‘Wasteland’ sort of hit all over the map – in a great way – ‘Reports From Oblivion‘ is a much heavier, starkly bleak effort. Intentionally so, too. That’s just fine with me, as we all need, and deserve, some sufferance in our lives.
This EP provides it perfectly, as it was recorded by Joe Cincotta (Suffocation, Internal Bleeding) at Full Force Studios in Long Island, and mixed/mastered by Tad Doyle (Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, TAD) himself at Witch Ape Studio in Seattle. Their influence is felt in the music and works nicely with the directive to explore the heavier, denser side of the music False Gods are making at this time.