Czar “Vertical Mass Grave” CD/LP

Czar - Vertical Mass GraveFrom Crack Nation comes "Vertical Mass Grave", the debut full-length from Chicago trio Czar. This 10-song, 43-minute affair marks my first exposure to the group (who released a prior EP in 2009) and their incredibly interesting amalgamation of influences. This is another one of those bands that manages to blend a ton of different styles into a completely unclassifiable form (generically referred to as "metal"), but they actually keep things fresh and interesting in the process. You've got both harsh, sneering yells and damn solid singing; thick, chugging rhythms and surging melodies (some of which are surprisingly peppy); chaotic, gnashing speeds (complete with insanely intense drumming) and angular, spacious midpaced runs; some subtle electronic noise textures here and there; and, well... tons of other odds and ends in between and all around. There's a really strong sense of energy across the board, though, and that's something that always catches my attention right off the bat. It's really fuckin' hard to wrap your head around, and I'm quite confident that I need more time to fully digest what's going on here, but I did know immediately that I liked it and wanted to hear more. It's so weird, 'cause at times they'll hit on a Neurosis level of extreme heaviness, but then there's this ringing, dissonant post-hardcore type of thing going on in there, too. That probably sounds ridiculous, but it's true. I'm at a little bit of a loss for words here. Czar is a very cool and extremely curious band, and absolutely presents one of those cases where you really need to hear for yourself to get an accurate idea of what they have to offer...

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Crack Nation (CD/LP/mp3) (mp3)
Bandcamp (mp3)
iTunes (mp3)