In 2018, Long Island progressive death metal band Monochromatic Black threw down the gauntlet with a video for their debut single, “The Herd”, shaping themselves as a force to be reckoned with. The following year, they released their first EP, pneuma, to considerable success: it’s a burst of intense, versatile and surprisingly assured brutality that hit like progressive deathcore derecho and left me wanting more. The whole of last fall Vicissitudes scratched that itch for sure. Guitarists John Gribbin and Dan Rivera, bassist Arthur Erb and drummer Eddie DeCesare build a majestic, ever-evolving foundation on which vocalist Tanya Beickert can stretch, alternating between deep growls, mountain lion cries, ethereal clear vocals and anything else. the mood of the song demands it. Monochromatic Black’s music maintains a tension between high-tech and primal while giving way to a breezy, fatalistic romanticism, though they never let it linger for long.
With ten ferocious tracks that bounce between styles – progressive and technical death metal, metalcore, hints of black metal – with remarkable ease and flexibility, Vicissitudes proves that pneuma was no coincidence. The confident power of the album suggests that Monochromatic Black could be hugely influential in their genre for generations of bands to come. They also released a 40-minute documentary about the making of the record, which provides insight into their writing process and the interpersonal, logistical and musical challenges of recording during the pandemic, including fixing their parts separately without the benefit. of their usual practice. program. In the documentary, the band members are candid about their mental state over the past two years, as well as the consequences of their inability to perform live. Almost every member has lost a loved one since the pandemic began, and they tell touching stories of how grief and loss fuel their music. The way Monochromatic Black weathered the pain and released an impressive feature debut under these conditions bodes well for their ability to handle whatever the future throws at them.
Monochromatic black, Orinoco, Deaf Ear, Enox, Lost In The Current, Thu 1/27, 7 p.m., Cobra Lounge, 235 N. Ashland, $12, 17+