‘The Existential Haunting”

By Dr. Abner Mality

If it’s on Pelagic Records, you know what to expect. This is very likely the #1 post-metal label out there. The strangely named Future Usses are an instrumental trio featuring Sasha Dunable of Intronaut fame and they’ve come up with a strong debut for fans of the genre.

I don’t miss the vocals here one bit. I usually find the alternating harsh bellow/mellow croon style to be a big distraction, anyway. On “The Existential Haunting”, you are clear to focus on the many guitar textures and effects that pepper the release. And there are a TON of different guitar effects here, helping to make for an interesting listen. There’s lots of watery twang and clean crystalline tones, but also immensely bass-heavy crush. When the album is at its heaviest, it weighs more than a battleship. But the dichotomy between ethereal, haunting sounds and utter lead weight is always there.

Going against the grain, the album opens with the 10-minute plus “What Is Anything” and never comes close to anything of that length again. Although there’s no true singing, there are choir-like vocal effects that pop up frequently. The weirdest and therefore most interesting song here is “Make Flowers”, where a super-slowed down monk’s chant propels the song and makes it ultra-thick. Future Usses do take pains to give every song a different feel….”Absolute Zero” is appropriately cold and icy sounding, “Apocalypse When Convenient” has some beautiful  clean arpeggios and jangly guitar. The album ends with the title track, which comes across kind of average because it sounds like “Post-Metal 101”.

The experimentation with sound, the injection of total heaviness when needed and the attempt to vary the songs help to make “The Existential Haunting” a pretty cool album.