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Indricothere - "Indricothere" (CD)

Indricothere - "Indricothere" CD cover image

"Indricothere" track listing:

1. II
2. V
3. IV
4. I
5. III

Reviewed by on June 28, 2008

"Indricothere is the Arctopus's primal brother, a gargantuan crusher using a constant mechanical battery to bludgeon the listener"

As a member of Behold... The Arctopus, Dysrythmia and more, Colin Marston has firmly put his name forward as one of the leaders of the avant-garde metal scene. Further solidifying that position is Martson’s mastery of the mother of all instruments, the multi-string mutant bass/guitar hybrid called the Warr Guitar (similar to a Chapman Stick). Here we have Indricothere, the offspring of Marston’s metal mentality and boundary pushing technical prowess, combining to make a brutally heavy LP.

The name Indricothere comes from the world's largest pre-historic mammal of the same name, and oh how fitting. This LP is a true behemoth. The word heavy is thrown about a lot but Indricothere is a truly brutal instrumental assault from beginning to end. Let me say now that if you're a fan of Behold... The Arctopus, Orthrelm or Blotted Science, Indricothere will be a worthy addition to your collection - let's get into why.

While Behold... The Arctopus is a band pushing a weird, technical agenda, Indricothere is the Arctopus's primal brother, a gargantuan crusher using a constant mechanical battery to bludgeon the listener. The music is more straightforward using less dynamics in the rhythm and more mechanical thuggery, though the technicality is still the main show. Much like fellow Arctopus metaller Mike Lerner's pet project Direwolf, Indricothere's backbone is an inhumanly energetic drum machine organized for a constant barrage - and constant is the key. This is really five tracks of unrelenting metal, few breathers and a pace akin to a less monotonous Orthrelm. The guitar pieces follow suit with the mechanical rhythm offering a precise but trance-inducing hammering, matching the drums in terms of heaviness.

Here we see the unexpected second face of Indricothere, a noticeable influence from another of Martston's side projects, the drone metal band Byla. Yes, as strange as it sounds the marriage of technical metal and drone metal works perfectly, with heaviness being the common factor. Sometimes this drone influence comes through literally in a Sunn O)))/Khanate manner as in "V" and "IV" similar to tracks on Behold... The Arctopus's debut "Skullgrid." In tracks such as the album's monolithic ending, the music becomes so intense that the compressed force becomes more of an overpowering ambience - awesome. Beware, however: the heaviness may alienate some Arctopus fans not conditioned to such constant machine gun drones.

The death metal influence is also present, but don't expect any Cannibal Corpse grunting, as this album stands as a one man instrumental show. The music also ranges an impressive series of emotions from the dark death metal vibe and Meshuggah-like chugs of "I" to the uplifting ambience of "IV." Overall, there are only five tracks on show, but each is worth it's weight in gold, being both expansive and yet complete. The short length of the LP (at just 28 minutes) is the only down-side to this album but as a whole "Indricothere" feels like a nice round trip.

There is definitely something to be said for an instrumental technical battering that exists as something more than a novelty after repeat spins. "Indricothere" may be a release that splits fans into those of the more spastic and off the wall variety and those of the brutal persuasion, but in either case in Indricothere is a testament to the word heavy metal.

Highs: The upsides of tech-death and drone smashed together

Lows: Some fans may see Indricothere as a lesser beast compared to Behold... The Arctopus

Bottom line: A progressive success and a brutal attack rolled into one

Rated 5 out of 5 skulls
5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)