Low Estate are a supergroup, if you will, of dark and death metal-like musicians from many differing groups in the dark metal scene. Covert Cult Of Death is a nine-track release available on vinyl LP and is released on The Flenser. Be sure to have your earphones on full whack for this one, and enjoy the not-so-soothing chill of groaning guitars and smashing drums hit your brain like a tonne of bricks.
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- Covert Cult Of Death by Low Estate
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Loud and super; super loud and also a supergroup. Covert Cult of Death takes Brendan Tobin from post-rockers Red Sparrowes, Geoff Garlock from screamo legends Orchid, Christopher Todd from metal experimentalists Sannhet and Jimmy Hubbard from The Year Is Over. What a broth of boys. Also featuring Dwid Hellon (Integrity), David Castillo (Primitive Weapons) and Zachary Lipez (yells at kids to get off of his lawn of classic Iron Lung album art trimmings), this is kinda an all-star roster of things adjacent to punk and metal. In a shocking turn of events, it’s not even close to being a flop.
Going after but not rehashing the dirtier, less alleviating side of post-hardcore (less clean bits and a whole lot less love, Jesus Lizard style), Low Estate create a wonderful record in which each corner is brilliantly harsh, with enough crust and chug around the corners to keep up its constant commotion of dread. “Comfort In Futility” feels like the best example of how to make a song of incremental intensity, feeding off of its predecessor into a song of chugging, roundtable riffs and medieval synthwork. Jimmy Hubbard’s vocals are immense -- they match up with the bristling basslines in a way that keeps the record buried from light in all corners.
“Circle of Error” is a slow jam turned extreme black metal by blast-beats and oscillating guitar work, proving the band have a palette that moves beyond just one kind of metal-punx combo. The riffs whine and wail out into a good ol’ bit of metal cornballing, the breakdown momentarily cheesy before they resort for a growling finale. The more you listen the more the discordances of the record give way to hooks -- gnarly they are, but noticeable too, with the screeching opening to “Masked Illusion” standing up for my earworm of the week. Really good noising -- they simply must do it again sometime.
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