BOLZER "Soma" 7"

KHTHONIK CERVIIKS "Heptaedrone" Tape

By Dr. Abner Mality

Since the days of Voi Vod, there's always been a place for spaced-out extreme metal dealing with sci-fi themes and featuring warped time changes. A couple of years ago, a two-man unit from Switzerland named BOLZER landed in my sound system with a little effort called "Aura" and I've been waiting for the follow-up eagerly ever since. "Aura" was one hell of a massive sonic attack merged a spacy almost krautrock approach with the thick brutality of Celtic Frost. "Soma" is their two song follow-up, but since one of the tracks exceeds 18 minutes in length and the other is near 7 minutes, this is really more than a mere 7". I can see that Bolzer has made a couple of subtle stylistic changes here. The Frost/Voi Vod influences are not as obvious and the music seems more composed. Still, there's a lot of energy to "Steppes" and the mammoth "Labyrinthine Graves". The former isn't a folk metal song in any way, yet it does suggest a "Russian" feel. The latter is ambitious but too much so. Some very heavy moments here, but it just kind of peters out at the end. Bolzer is a band to keep an eye on, but I prefer "Aura" to "Soma".

I got more of that "blown away" feeling I had from hearing "Aura" when I checked out the first release from the utterly bizarre Khthonik Cerviiks. Now I loathe the hipsterish trendiness of cassette tapes at the present time, but when I heard "Heptaedrone", I just HAD to say something. These guys are utter MANIACS! This is some of the most twisted and mind-mangling death metal I've ever heard....imagine a combo of the gnarly weirdness of Voi Vod's "War and Pain" with the ultra-tech insanity of Gigan and Vektor. You are still not really close to the hyper-fucked riffmongery that is K.C. The time changes and riffing on this make it sound like you are being scrambled by a large hadron collider and reassembled out of phase. During tunes like "Magmatik Moil" and "Moraines of Molten Light", I swear my skull was starting to break apart.

Khthonik Cerviiks are not going to make a huge impact with a measly tape, but when they release a true album with decent distribution, they are going to turn a lot of heads. Fantastic band with great potential! Bolzer really is as well, but this time, it's Khthonik Cerviiks that fried my brain. Check 'em out!