Review Summary: Strange and confounding
Have you ever felt like your body and soul was being stretched apart internally " Like a particle grinder, in some far away place that just leaves you mortified, amazed, all at once " You can actually find it out by listening to Count to Altek's newest EP.
One thing that's a nice perk of being a viewer to someone else's art is it leaves a lot to interpret, and with material as esoteric as this, its even more difficult. So from this I just went by basic feelings when listening to Hybrid Symbiont. Its probably the easiest way to write this.
First I thought the drums sounded loud but obscure in the first song and it comes out very loudly from all angles. At the start, a shock of choir voices, deranged drums, deranged vocals, all come in what seems like massive layers. On first listen it almost sounds senseless. The thing that holds it together is the spacey atmosphere. But with a name like A New Hercules it brings to mind something detached and otherworldly. The structureless tune dirges on like a crazed monster while entering different scales and rhythms on a whim.
The next song enters with distorted saxophones and a more groove oriented drum beat along with layers of what sound like either guitar or bass. Im going to guess the later since there is no guitarist listed. There are meany free floating elements in this track that are hard to keep up with but it seems to keep the thundering intensity of the last song. It crescendoes, and then draws back... gets more intense, and repeats variations of this cycle during the 7 minute track. During this one you hear vocals that sound like those things on the cover yelling at you.
The last track is the best one, as it brings the moments that really caught my ear. It is Count to Altek being beautiful. Starts off with abstract sounds but a nice bass driven/ drum combo that ascends into wonderful chords and an expansive synth parade. This brings that strong ambient/ avantgarde jazz feel of other Count to Altek releases that came out recently. The track seems to just keep climbing from the moment it starts until about 10 mins in where it goes into a part that seems unnecessary where the sax just plays a few simple notes in a weird way with some chanting and light synth. It builds up to the ending 5 mins which is surely the most stunning part of the release as the drummer starts to show off and the melodies build in sound and start to sound like echoing Gregorian chants or church hymns.
A great EP from this group overall. While my main concern is they still need much better or more consistent equipment to take this (music) to its full potential. The drums need a much better microphone in my view. But they are shaking up boundaries and this one is no different.