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Friday 17 September 2021

CANEPHORA-At A LOss For Words-(Moo Cow Records-USA-1998)

Where do I start with this beast... I mean, holy shit man. At A Loss For Words is the most tormented and intense metal I've ever heard, let alone deathcore! The animosity this little 7 inch possesses makes even the most spiteful of metal bands like Ildjarn sound like Kiss. And here I thought metalcore's aggressiveness peaked with Arkangel - and Arkangel were monoliths of sheer raw aggression and heaviness. If Arkangel was a massacre in this sense, then this band is an absolute genocide. However, that wouldn't be the proper way to phrase things for what this band would try and, successfully, accomplish.

You see, Canephora wasn't out to achieve genocide, it was out to murder as many people as it can with it's bare-hands. The constant dynamics and dense brooding atmosphere makes At A Loss... feel like a knife being stabbed repeatedly through your chest and blood soaking into your eyes. I wouldn't doubt that this is certainly what plays through a mind of a serial killer when he's on his next hunt. It sounds like something that can only be tapped by reaching into the deepest corners of a psychopath.

While only being 13 minutes long with both songs being 6 minutes long, it's feels extremely alienating just to get through and leaves you with an unnerving aura that steeps into your subconscious. The core root of Canephora's intimidation lies in it's consistency of buildup and releases. It almost feels like they're playing with you by giving you a few gasps of air before suffocating you again with dense, swirling, angular death metal tremolo picking and blastbeats. In the midst of all the bludgeoning songwriting you have this insane vocal work which really makes you feel the forlornness of the situation you've gotten yourself in. Hell, I don't even think they actually acquired an actual singer, I think they just picked up a poor bastard off the street and started torturing him and threw the audio of it over the songs. His vocal work is something you have to really listen to because I can't put into words properly how great he is at fitting what this band is trying to realize.

Don't play this too loud or else the cops will definitely be called - in fact, don't play this at all without headphones on or else you'll be getting some really concerning looks.  (review by Bystandard,published on Discogs-14/Dec/2020)   click me


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