Myopic/Torrid Husk - Crawling Mountain Apogee

Upstart Baltimore-based Grimoire Records first came to my attention a few months ago when Highpriest’s excellent Shift EP landed in my inbox (which I reviewed here). Now they’re on my radar again with Crawling Mountain Apogee, the forthcoming split from Myopic and Torrid Husk, which I’ve been listening to almost non-stop for the last week. If you’ve slept on Grimoire Records thus far, it’s time to for that to change, because they are quickly becoming a label worth paying very close attention to.

Both Myopic and Torrid Husk, who each have two lengthy tracks on Crawling Mountain Apogee, play what could broadly be described as progressive black metal, but each with their own respective take on the genre. Of the two, Myopic strays furthest from the black metal’s grim and frostbitten template, with a heavy post-rock (but not shoegaze) element to their sound. They’re also a band that understands how to use space to build tension, especially on the 10-plus minute “Unction in Passing,” which opens Crawling Mountain Apogee. The song does have its blastbeat-and-shrieks driven moments, but they’re offset by a slow-building opening section that brings to mind a slightly more melodic Isis or Pelican. Their second track “Remembrance” combines Neurosis-like heaviness with deftly tremolo-picked melody lines and a middle section that almost sounds tech-deathy. The end result is an adventurous-sounding pair of tracks, and probably the stronger half of the split.

Which isn’t to say, however, that the Torrid Husk half of Crawling Mountain Apogee isn’t enjoyable. Their two tracks play with texture in interesting ways, particularly in terms of their choice in guitar tones. Even when the songs are at their most frantic, the guitars wash over the blastbeats in a way that’s pleasantly surprising. The highlight of their half of the split is “So howled out the world to give him a name,” with its harsher, more dissonant passages and closing section that brings to mind the blackened fury of a band like Watain.

Crawling Mountain Apogee will be released on October 7. Digital and CD preorders, as well as streams of prieview tracks, are available on the Grimoire Records Bandcamp page

Editor's Note: The Myopic songs are streaming on Invisible Oranges, while the Torrid Husk songs are also streaming on No Clean Singing.