Review: Entropy, Death Spell (Crazysane, 2022)

Hamburg, Germany's Entropy is one of the most underrated bands out there right now. Responsible for one of my favorite albums of 2020 with the mighty Liminal, I was gushing fanboy-level excited when this new three-song EP was announced. Indeed, the quartet is without a doubt one to watch, Death Spell having given me chills from the very first spin. Each subsequent listen kinda blows my mind, as it starts out insanely strong, but then you start to feel like, holy shit, every song might be just a tad better than the last!?

It's tough not to tout Entropy as a heavier Sugar—which is not only the first thing that always pops to mind, but also a sincerely major compliment—but that's certainly only a portion of the full picture. The vocals do have their own sort of droning (but not at all lackadaisical) quality that creates its own atmosphere, and "Death Spell," for example, opens in heavy and hard-charging—though far from amelodic—form, arguably boasting some characteristics of later Helmet. The rhythm section absolutely hammers away while the guitar tones layer together to create some wonderful post-hardcore textures in the way that notes/chords ring out and decay on top of one another.

Gun to my head, the mind-blowing "Cthulhucene" is probably my overall favorite. A little faster-paced with added zest compared to the title track, its incredibly bouncy, head-bobbing chorus comes almost outta nowhere to provide subtle contrast to the driving pulse of the verse passages (and the equally hooky pre-chorus, for that matter).

Closer "Unrelenting" is a good bit longer and slower, but the most melodic of the bunch. There's sort of a soaring vibe to it, and while I hesitate to throw out the drastically overused term of "shoegaze" here, there is some degree of that atmosphere present—albeit in a manner that peers ahead more so than down. Again, though, the chorus is just so damn good—the way the subtle vocal harmonies blend with the guitars... excellent!

The only tiny "downside" to this release is that the physical edition appears to be a sleeveless one-sided 12" with a screen-printed B-side. And that's totally cool, but it also means that if you live outside of Europe, it's going to cost somewhere in the realm of roughly $10 per song to own a copy. It's quite a dilemma for a collector such as myself. I love this band and would prefer to possess the vinyl, but if there's no insert with lyrics or anything that would add another layer to the music... I've grimacingly settled for digital thus far.

There's simply no denying, however, that the songs are fuckin' stunning and fully deserve to be experienced by as wide an audience as possible. Please: spread the word if you like what you hear!

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