New York's The Nevergrin delivers the feel bad hit of the late spring with At Last Alone.
The springtime can be a bit overwhelming. While the warm weather thaw comes as welcome respite from pummeling blizzards and oppressive gray skies, the sudden explosion of life energy that comes along with it can be a bit intense. Suddenly, it seems that every square inch of air is filled with the twittering of baby birds and mewling kittens, while the distractions of the flesh are every which way you turn.
Sometimes, if even for a moment, it can be tempting to want to turn back the clock, to the cold, when everything seemed quieter, more peaceful and contemplative, when you could go for an evening walk without being surrounded by the din of crowds, the squall of humanity. At Last Alone is your chance to do so - a headphone wormhole to a foggy alternate dimension, like the distant, dreamy photograph of a tree against a minimalist white backdrop that graces the cover.
The Nevergrin is a stripped down post-metal duo made up mostly of pulsing bass and thundering drums with occasional ominous whispered vocals and slight synth embellishments. The Nevergrin cite bands like Neurosis and Agalloch as influences, so you know At Last Alone contains the wild, beating, primal, feral howl of an ecstatic bloodletting ritual, as well as bands like Tool, so you know they're not afraid to get epic.
Thankfully, the duo never succumbs to bombastic or stadium rock tropes. At Last Alone is a somber, introspective and experimental release - poetic, disturbing and moving. At Last Alone was recorded at a variety of independent studios across NY and NJ, which The Nevergrin then tweaked and finessed endlessly to get the levels just so. What we are left with is either a very high quality demo or a raw and atmospheric record. The murky, somewhat lo-fi feel adds to the feeling, however. For me, personally, I'm tired of shiny plastic metal records trying to sound brutal and hardcore. Most of what passes for mainstream metal these days sounds to me like bloated prog rock (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not what I go for, in metal records).
The lo-fi sound quality; the sparse and skeletal arrangements; the dearth of vocals; elements of noise and black metal; all sum up to make an engaging and immersive sonic experience. While we may not want the winter back in its entirety, here's your chance for some stillness for an hour at a time.
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