In a perfect world, LARVAE, from the ever so musically fascinating SF Bay Area, would be ruling the world of blackened death-doom and handing out invaluable lessons to everyone when it comes to things like form, integrity, character, style and execution. But as we know, the world is far from perfect, and is actually more often than not a spiteful and cynical shithole pit of injustice, where assholes and jocks rule the world while real talent goes completely unnoticed. Well, fuck that. Maybe it’s just because of this that Larvae is where it is, or maybe cause these boys are shy and prefer to stay away from the spotlight, but truth is, it is most likely that none of you, or very few of you, have heard of this band before, and that, sorry to say, is fucking unacceptable.
Label: Parasitic Records – The Pre-Order is up HERE!
Art by Bryce Shelton
After releasing their beautiful Demo a couple of years ago and witnessing them play live here in their native Bay Area on numerous occasions, I became increasingly fascinated and intrigued by the band’s beautiful, ambiguous and extremely personal blend of death metal, doom and black metal, and considered myself a fan of the band from the start. The reason Larvae are so awesome lies in their unique style. Their music is black metal, death and doom metal all at once without being any of the three. Tempos are usually mid-paced, gloomy, decaying strides of malevolent grain that get broken up and interrupted at steady intervals by placid and frightening meadows of acoustic and minimalist almost goth-like decay, by icy walls of furious black metal malevolence, and swampy and putrid bogs of death-doom nightmares of slow and rotting death. All the while, Brad Kobylczak’s throaty and lurid howls infest the music like the laments of souls cursed to burn and suffer in eternity. I hear ancient echoes of Disembowelment, Beherit and Evoken in this hideously gorgeous music, as well as shards of early Primordial, early Burzum and Emperor, coated in a gloomy and decaying shroud of depressive and completely emaciated loss and despair. The guitar work is impeccable, and the two six-strings present weave their way through branches of horror and neglect in an incredible way resulting in a two-guitar attack that is both extremely creative and driving, but also monolithic and tenebrous as fuck, while Simon Masiewicki’s refined, almost jazz-like drumming provides a propulsion to the music that results in the whole feat being surprisingly unpredictable and extremely intriguing.
Not only do Larvae craft beautiful and heart-wrenching blackened death-doom, but they also come with a highly DIY, almost punk-like ethic, producing all their music by themselves, recording everything on their own and ensuring their music lives solely off of their personal effort and work. Absolutely mention-worthy is also the fact that these guys are all but newcomers in the scene, being them all members of extremely notable past and present Bay Area bands like Palace of Worms, Badr Vogu, Ordo Obsidium, Elk and Dead As Dreams. That said, stream this grand debut of theirs herein, support their incredible work any way you can, Grave Descent is getting the vinyl treatment by Parasitic Records the Pre-Order is up HERE…Street Date Mid Dec.