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Superdensecrushloadfactor - Decease Estates CD (album) cover





3.70 | 8 ratings

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4 stars Superdensecrushloadfactor is a relatively new musical project brainchild of Australian multi-instrumentalist mastermind Gabe Buller, and his second album, Decease Estates, is a very bizarre and eclectic foray into avant-progressive rock composition.

Upon first hearing the rattling, slithering guitar intro "That One With Gapeworm" that basically screams of oddity and goofiness, it should become apparent that this album is going to be different, but this intro serves as a strange mask that covers up the abstract beauty and avant-gardist tinges contained on further tracks. The beauty that I speak of is most noticeable on the second track "Vandalize Stock Photos", which starts out with powerfully played controlled-yet-loose, impressionistic drumming accompanying an interesting guitar melody with hints of traditional Chinese music (whether this was intentional or not, I am unsure). After a bright and slightly dissonant solo guitar bridge section, the song becomes led by an emotionally affecting, nearly post-rock acoustic guitar melody accompanied by equally emotional drumming, and together sounds similar the '90s classic emo sound of American Football but with more sincere playing and sans- whiny vocals. This song alone is very much worth the time it takes to download this album and is one of the most beautiful progressive songs I've heard in recent memory.

And after that beauty, of course, comes a sludgy, gnarly beast of a tune -- "Subliminals Repeat Until They Become Blatant" blasts off with a barrage of sludgy avant-metal riffing and wild percussion before bright lounge-jazz guitar playing take over, which is slightly similar in flavor to some of the more difficult moments on Yes's unique Relayer album, though done more tastefully, in my opinion. But as an 11-minute long progressive monster, things don't stay the same for long, as more hard-hitting metal riffing and bright jazzy clean tones constantly change places while powerful, interesting drumming fill the peripheral spots with a considerably sharp but stylistically unique edge.

The next two tracks, "Key to the City" and "Progress", are complex avant-prog pop songs that are as catchy as they are musically intriguing, showing shades of influence from the diverse Cheer-Accident. "Oppressed Ones Take to the Tyrant With an Axe" in another progressive mini-epic that marks the return of dense, sludgy guitar and bass and dark imperialistic drumming. This 9-minute track is dark and grimy throughout and really lives up to it's sinister title. The title-track finale is a return to the off-kilter beauty displayed earlier in the album, but with enhanced with a well-deserved sense of strength and pride.

Something very noticeable about this album is the very DIY production sound, which gives Decease Estates a very earthy, organic sound that is usually only reserved for indie rock and black metal, but it works very well with this style of music. Specifically, the production on the drums sound amazing, resulting in a sound that is almost like Gabe Buller is intimately playing his kit within your physical vicinity, for you personally, and each individual drum and cymbal is distinguishable from the others. Everything just sounds so real, which is very refreshing in a time when most modern music is so overproduced and digital sounding. The musicianship on this album is also incredible -- never outwardly flashy playing, but always sonically interesting in a way that helps along each composition from start to end in sounding like finished, comprehensive pieces of modern musical art.

I'm at a loss when trying to compare Superdensecrushloadfactor's Decease Estates to other artists and albums, but the best comparisons that I can think of are like a more lo-fi version of maudlin of the Well's Bath, Kayo Dot's Blue Lambency Downward, and Cheer-Accident's Introducing Lemon, but it still stands on its own as a unique avant-garde progressive rock album that leaves me personally hungering for more. Decease Estates is a unique and innovative album, one of the best avant-styled albums in recent memory, and you'd be doing yourself a favor by checking it out.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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