Review Summary: Delirious screams cut through the dark
Sometimes I'm in need of sadistic music. Not the kind that shatters you by blasting abominable atonality, but rather the sort that aggressively acknowledges its depressive nature. When such needs arise, few genres match screamo's intense self-hatred. With As We Suffer From Memory and Imagination
, LA quartet Nuvolascura propose a concise tale of their venture far down the road of screamo’s catharsis.
This sophomore record represents a more elaborate version of the band's 2019 self-titled effort, with even more tangled madness distilled through each composition. The abrupt shapeshifting songs are tighter than those of the band's rookie LP, the soundscape being broadened by a larger insistence on rambling post-rock and manic mathcore. Opener "As the Mask Begins to Slip" acts as the band's elevator pitch, showing what they are capable of in less than a minute. Bursting discordant aggression through rugged riffs, unstable dynamic shifts, and vocalist Erica Schutlz's desperate cries, this first minute is but a warning about what’s to come: pure ***ing madness. Producer Jack Shirley - who also worked with Deafheaven, State Faults or Loma Prieta - made sure this rawness wouldn't shine through crass production, but rather by how the instruments are played. The bass' crunchiness, the guitars' jolts, and the drums' aridity are all neatly distinguishable, yet cultivate together the frenzied assault unleashed onto the listener's brain. It's not just carnage though, brief atmospheric moments and drony interludes act as welcomed rests amid the predominantly clashing music. Yet these passages represent the album's shortcomings: being only 20 minutes long, the record does stutter in its ubiquitous reliance on interludes, and by how frustrating its shortness can be. Some ideas would have benefited from being extended, but - in a pure screamo tradition - the band's philosophy is to immediately distance themselves from the canvas they have just created. Couple this dizzying capability with the disgusted and disgusting lyrics, and the only feeling you’ll get at the end of the record is how uncanny Nuvolascura’s blend of passion and pandemonium is. They are always walking on the edge of sickness.