US black metallers Gestalt have unleashed their debut EP, ‘Infinite Regress’, earlier this year in anticipation of a full length debut sometime in the near future. Their particular brand of black metal is harsh but contains many progressive elements that make them an intriguing proposition.
Opener ‘Breach of Eden’ is full of strange effects while a harsh black metal atmosphere takes over the song. Laser beams of keyboard slice through the icy riffage and it sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Gestalt are very much aware of the nuances required to make black metal that is interesting these days, without falling into the traps of what is fashionable at that time. It jerks and spasms with careless abandon, but beating inside there is a cold, black metal heart.
‘Atavisim’ is a bit more straightforward, with blastbeats and snarling vocals accompanying jarring riffs. Gestalt’s progressive streak comes more to the fore in the expansive fury of ‘Tathata’, with its wandering bassline and invigorating leads. Gestalt create black metal that is a little different from your standard corpse painted horde, with atonal tremolo riffs clashing in evil harmony. It brings to mind latter period Emperor with its adventurous melodies and disdain for regular time signatures or riff patterns, particularly ‘Wade in Toil’.
‘Infinite Regress’ is an adventurous, progressive EP, showcasing a band that is doing something fresh in black metal. Invoking the spirit of ‘IX Equilbrium’ Emperor gets all the thumbs up from me, and Gestalt look like they are definitely going to be worth watching.