The progressive death-metal band Monochromatic Black delivers the brutality of Vicisitude

In 2018, Long Island’s progressive death-metal band Monochromatic Black threw the glove down with a video for their debut single, “The Herd,” which announced itself as a force to be reckoned with. The following year, they released their first EP, Pneuma, to great acclaim: it’s an intense, versatile and striking sure outburst of brutality that struck like a progressive deathcore derecho and left me wanting for more. Last fall full length Variability have probably scratched the itch. Guitarists John Gribbin and Dan Rivera, bassist Arthur Erb and drummer Eddie DeCesare build a majestic, ever-changing foundation on top of which singer Tanya Beickert can stretch and switch between deep growls, mountain lion screams, ethereally pure vocals and everything else. the atmosphere of the song calls for. Monochromatic Black’s music maintains a tension between high-tech and primal, while leaving room for windy, fatalistic romance – though they never let it linger long.

With ten fierce tracks jumping between styles – progressive and technical death metal, metalcore, hints of black metal – with remarkable ease and flexibility, Variability proves it Pneuma was no coincidence. The album’s confident power suggests that Monochromatic Black could be hugely influential in their genre for generations of bands to come. They have also released a 40-minute documentary about making the record, which provides insight into their writing process and the interpersonal, logistical and musical challenges of recording during the pandemic – including putting their parts down separately without the benefits of their usual practice schedule. In the documentary, the band members are at the forefront of their mental state over the past few years, as well as the toll it has taken to be unable to play live. Nearly all members have lost someone close to them since the pandemic began, and they tell touching stories of how grief and loss nourish their music. The way Monochromatic Black drifted through the pain and released an impressive first full-length under these conditions bodes well for their ability to handle whatever the future holds for them.

Monochromatic black, Orinoco, Deaf Ear, Enox, Lost In The Current, Thu 27/1, 7pm, Cobra Lounge, 235 N. Ashland, $ 12, 17+

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