Our comrades WAKE have curated a brutal mixtape for CVLT Nation and we’re featured alongside some excellent fucking acts. Check it out and make sure you don’t miss them if they visit your neighborhood on their Winter tour!
We are stoked and honoured that Grind and Punishment, a mighty blog that has supported us from the beginning, has put “Night Sky Transform” on top of their list for 2012! Our split with Wake is also on top of their 2012 list of splits…
Night Sky Transform
Dephosphorus transformed more than the night sky with their sophomore effort; the Hellenic trio upended many of my preconceptions about what grindcore could be and convey. Night Sky Transform has evolved so far beyond mere grindcore that even trying to squeeze them into that label feels like a gross disservice to what they’ve brewed up as they musically venture into the empty(?) spaces between the stars. The first time I heard Axiom in 2011, this immediately became my most anticipated album of 2012, and Dephosphorus did not fail to deliver, even if they charted a course I didn’t expect. Axiom was more immediate and visceral, but Night Sky Transform is ultimately the more rewarding musical experience if you take the time to invest yourself in its otherworldly meditations on the cosmic irrelevance of humanity and the splendor that is the universe at large. All hail aurora.
Sometimes the most brilliant gambits are the most obvious. Case in point, the excellent and ascendant 7 Degrees Records grabbed its two foremost bands — Wake and Dephospohorus — and told them to each record enough music to fill one side of a 7-inch. The result was an absolutely scintillating pairing that proved to be a pivot from Wake’s Leeches (which graced last year’s list) to Deposphorus’ dominating Night Sky Transform. Dephosphorus had backed off the artistry of Axiom for something more primal and vicious, which put them firmly in Wake’s realm, giving the pairing a wonderful balance from side to side. This is absolutely everything you want in a split experience: two bands at the top of their game that clearly enjoyed the idea of working together.
Equivoke has uploaded a “Night Sky Transform” review that is extensive and extremely detailed… It is encouraging that somebody has understood to such an extent what we are up to, and we wanted to achieve with our new material! We paste the entire review below as a backup, in case that the blog goes down…
NB: Don’t be confused by the fact that it’s referring to 40′ of music and 14 tracks. The editor received an early electronic promo which included the N.S.T. album, as well as both split-7″EP’s…
Genre: Grindcore/Death Metal/Hardcore/Black Metal/Astrogrind
Dephosphorus have returned with their first full record. I’ve been listening to Night Sky Transform for a little while now, but even when I had only heard the first two tracks at the beginning of this year I knew it was going to be something ferocious and formidable.
Now that I physically have it and have spun it an ungodly number of times even before it was in my grasp I can confidently say that this is my #2 record of the year at this point, and until I hear the new Tesa it’ll have to be something of considerable heft to move it from that spot. If you’re wondering what #1 is then you haven’t been paying attention.
I do admit that the first few times I listened through Night Sky Transform it did not hit me as hard as Axiom. I didn’t think it was bad, it’s just that I was a little concerned that they couldn’t follow themselves. But I had faith and returned to it repeatedly, and at some point it hit me just as hard as their first release. That alone is impressive enough. Being able to top such a devastating opener to their library is something I was concerned would not happen even though I trust in their creativity, skill and dedication.
Night Sky Transform is 14 tracks (exactly 40 minutes) of swirling blackened grindcore that is easily the best in it’s still ambiguous genre this year and a worthy follow up to their EP. What’s notable about the length here is it never ceases to impress and never wears on you; most grind and hardcore records that pass the half hour mark can become tedious and repetitious but this is far from what you experience here. Of course this is much more than pure grind or hardcore to say the least — Dephosphorus perpetually elude categorization.
Almost every track hovers around 3 minutes in length but they’re so packed full of exciting, gripping elements that you’re often surprised at how quickly they seem to progress. You’ll feel compelled to return to them in order to catch something you missed before. And yet it’s nothing overly complex at all. It’s not flashy or self-indulgent. That’s not to say the skill level isn’t impressive — surely it is on all fronts. And it’s all extremely tight and hasn’t dropped one bit from their debut. The important thing here is a completely smooth transition between all the various styles they’ve mixed, channeled through rich and very pleasing riffs Thanos conjures, wonderfully harsh vocal work from Panos, and Nikos’ percussion that is searingly fast and tastefully busy.
At first the production seems coarse compared to Axiom which felt very cold and clean, but by the second track you settle into it comfortably as it brings the rough, muddied texture of the guitar and the force of the drums into a new level of dynamism. It does not smother anything — Panos’ voice is not drowned, Nikos’ blasts do not burry Thanos’ mighty guitar work. Lyrically we see that the cosmological-spiritual themes glimpsed in Axiom are preserved and expanded upon, sometimes ceremonial in form, with (what I think are) subtle dystopian undertones taken to a celestial level in some songs.
Dephosphorus pour untold quantities of passion and intensity into this record. Fierce cosmic radiation seeps into each song as they retain their signature style, a unique atmosphere draping all songs, while on a few occasions they slow down and experiment ever so slightly with the strong formula they’ve established.
Examples of this can be heard in “The Fermi Paradox” which at the start could almost be confused with something Neurosis might have created: slow martial or ceremonial drumming, eerie twinkling atmospherics and minimalistic, bendy swelling grooves; as well as a switch for the first time to clean droned vocals to heighten the ritualistic feeling of astral projection through the dominating blackened chaos. Panos’ vocals are fairly varied on this record and just as terrifying. Desperate and agonized on the higher register and when he dips low they are an unearthly growl
“Unconscious Excursion” is another instance where things are slowed down for a time with thick sustained chords and once again clean moans. It’s a very hypnotic sway that is created, which is carried into a slightly faster paced second half where we return to some of that wonderful and tasty hardcore groove found throughout the record (accompanied by a short and howling solo). You can see this kind of formula work it’s way into the middle of the following track “Aurora” as well, continuing to the end. It gives variance between the rusted cacophony that tears through the coldest reaches of space, without dropping the power.
What I love about everything they’ve released so far is that they manage to capture the heaving weight of sludge at various points but never actually settle on it, so you don’t actually encounter or experience it in it’s pure form but taste the influence in a new, dark manifestation. This is kind of captured in it’s more distilled forms in the aforementioned tracks, but in almost every song you catch glimpses of it, alongside the death metal and black metal which stains the grinding hardcore.
I have to say that while I could easily say everything recorded hear impresses me (as it all does) which makes it hard to choose favorite tracks, I will say the first four songs are my favorites. “Uncharted” and “Cold Omen were wise choices to show off before Night Sky Transform was released, as well as being great openers to have back-to-back. Both have a very similar vibe and formula, sounding like a brief transition from where Axiom left off to the full earth shattering impact of this record.
Each riff in these openers is so addicting and well crafted, smoothly slipping into one another and leading to a dissonant and heavy dirge at the end; injecting the black metal with some sludge ooze to great effect. These ending caps have some lovely drumming to compliment the just as impressive guitar and vocal work. “Cold Omen” especially has some hurricane-force percussion. Both are captivating seemingly aided by the unceasing pressure of surrounding celestial bodies
“Starless” follows them with a more bouncy and mid-paced section on guitar while the drumming continues to awe, and when you hit that section at the 50 second mark it becomes truly spellbinding; shortly afterwards assaulting you with that blinding haste they channel so well. And then we hit the title track, decidedly more on the genuine hardcore side than blackened grind (on the outset at least) with flurries of discord added to the powerchords. You can still feel the astral atmosphere lurking within each moment however. By the time you’re halfway in a slow gratifying oscillation lulls you, signalling they haven’t dropped their approach at all, before a return to the previous thread.
From this point on we see Dephosphorus shape their formula continuously into deeply satisfying and intense new configurations without straying too far from their transcendental, darkened, angular atmospherics. It’s remarkable how they can transfigure their style and keep it fresh without losing the force behind it.
We see it in tracks like “The Astral Putch I” which starts off jarring before jumping effortlessly between grindcore with a definite black metal structure shortly after the intro, and then again near the end where a riff appears that reeks of evil; tremolo angularity feeds into chords of the same style. “The Astral Putch II” is split from the first by “Identifying The Encapsulator” — which is jumpy vortex of riffs — and is far different from part one. Slower at first, breathing deep and shining with a brooding cold patina, before jumping into more technical territory. It then shifts into a sharp blackened cascade shortly after, urgent and ominous; suddenly we’re back in the hardcore gear as Panos shrieks his last words.
And then as if to prove my earlier point we sink into “Stargazing & Violence”. A distinct death metal overtone is cloaking the opening minute, close to the old school on both the drums and guitars. Just as you’re settling into it we’re greeted with a delicious groove and before you’re finished enjoying it an escalating scheme of chords appears as Panos calmly and clearly speaks with it. The black metal enters and Nikos blasts us while Panos screeches — and one final return to a more hardcore flavor.
The final three tracks that close this record also appeared on their split with Wake released a few months back, and if you read my review of that record then you already know what my impression of them was at that point. The shortest tracks on the record and still being fairly different from each other in spite of your expectations of them being a burst of speed to close the record. “Unit” is certainly a scorching meteor, but both “The Final Computronium” and “The Cosmologist” have some nice slower sections crush you with. Sure they’re executed with a disturbing urgency but amongst the oppressive speed is breathing room, making the blistering pace all the more satisfying.
Why would you even hesitate to listen to this? This is an album of undeniable strength and creativity, something that blends genres so effortlessly and smoothly it can please practically anyone with working ears who can appreciate great underground music. A pleasure to listen to, Night Sky Transform is a huge accomplishment for these Greek grinders and that’s saying a lot when you consider their debut Axiom was one of the best pieces of grind-esque metal in the last decade this side of GridLink and A Scanner Darkly.
Listen to it loud and conjure an astral storm.
No download link this time even though it’s out there. Dephosphorus deserve your money, so go to bandcamp and download it for a measly $5 as it’s easily worth more than that. Stream it and hear for yourself I do not lie. Or you can go to 7 Degrees Records and send them an email to pick this up in vinyl form with some beautiful artwork. I just got my copy and it’s well worth the cash.
Let’s recap on some press we’ve been getting lately.
- Review @ The Sludge Lord
- Review @ No Clean Singing (including a review of “Night Sky Transform” advance tracks)
- Review @ The Bone Reader
And finally, an old rant cum “Axiom” review we only came across lately, entitled “Don’t Miss Dephosphorus” @ Vitos Squid Stop And Death Metal Museum…
You can now order from us the split with Great Falls, for that just visit the Blastbeat Mailmurder/Dephosphorus paypal store. Vinyl combos with both of our 7″EP’s and all our vinyl are also available.
You can now order the Dephosphorus/Wake split-7″EP from the new Blastbeat Mailmurder/Dephosphorus paypal store. The split-7″EP with Great Falls will also been soon available separately or as a part of new bundles.
We are glad to announce that our debut album “Night Sky Transform” is about to be pressed by 7 Degrees Records! It will be a gatefold LP, pressed on 180g vinyl, and it will include a poster and a download code. Brace yourselves!
Andrew Childers nailed it right once again with his inimitable, classy style!There is also a Wake “Leeches” giveaway at G&P, right here.
Wake and Dephosphorus are like grindcore Diet Coke and Mentos on this excellent split, featuring three songs from each. The unexpectedly volcanic pairing pushed the Canadian and Greek bands to excel, friendly competition bringing out the finest in both for the best split you’re likely to hear all year.
Dephosphorus’ three new songs are less spacey than their Axiom material. Instead, the Greek trio comes with a handful of more concise and single-mindedly aggressive songs. However, “The Cosmologist” retains some of the wormholed, time sliding twistiness of old. If they can marry this newfound intensity to Axiom’s ethereal nature, Night Sky Transform will easily be 2012’s most unbeatable album.
Panos Agoros’ vocals and Thanos Mantas’ guitar shred are both outstanding once again, but the biggest quantum leap forward comes from drummer Nikos Megariotis, whose snare work, in particular, is much improved and propels the songs with a newfound urgency. The blasting passages of “The Final Computronium” are things of beauty on par with a grindcore Parthenon. While the drumming on Axiom was competent, this split finds Megariotis driving and defining the songs in ways he never has before.
For their part, Canada’s Wake continue their tradition of snapping up great producers. They roped Scott Hull behind the boards for last year’s Leeches, but this outing they enlisted the knob twiddling efforts of Colin Marston. For all that star power though, Wake’s half of the split sounds squashed and muddy, particularly in comparison to Dephosphorus. But it’s far from fatal. While I would have preferred more definition, I can’t deny that “Veil of Odin” is probably the finest, most dynamic song they’ve ever penned. The opening frame lopes forward like a wolfpack catching the scent of a bleeding deer, just a heedless, headlong rush. Sliding toward the end, the song downshifts into a midtempo jam, giving everything space to breathe. The interplay between the pounding toms and churning bass upheaval, garlanded by single guitar note feedback, might be Wake’s finest moment.
Like there was ever any doubt, 7 Degrees has paired their two finest artists for a teaser platter, playing them off of each other in a way that shows off both Wake and Dephosphorus’ finest attributes and set them up with a package to best show off their quality. These are two great bands that deserve all the accolades they’ve earned.
We have received our copies of the split-7″EP with Wake! Panos hasn’t managed to update Blastbeat Mailmurder paypal store yet, he’ll do it within the next few days. In the meantime, if you can’t wait to get the fucker feel free to email us (dephosphorus [at] gmail [dot] com) or contact directly 7 Degrees Records.
“Night Sky Transform” will soon take the way of manufacture via 7 Degrees Records. Expect it within the next couple of months as a gatefold, 180g vinyl, including a poster and a download code. A cassette version will also be available. As of now, we haven’t received any relevant offer for a CD edition, so no plastic yet…
You should also watch out for the split with Great Falls which should be out in the next few days by Hell Comes Home. Eventhough it is part of their subscription series, you’ll still be able to buy it alone as a 7″ or digital download. You’ll be able to order the 7″ from us, and we’ll also propose combo packages with both split-7″EP’s and with all our vinyls so far.
(…) Dephosphorus’ side is three tracks which will appear on their upcoming album, following up their phenomenal EP Axiom. After the release of an amazing creation like Axiom it’s going to be difficult for them to top themselves — such is curse of coming out of the gate with near perfection — but until Night Sky Transform is released Dephosphorus have decided to tease us with what they lay down here. If it’s any indication on what the rest of the album will sound like they may have managed to keep up the quality that Axiom displayed.
They continue to follow their unique formula of combining grindcore, death metal and crusty blackened-hardcore with an astral flavor to birth short (much shorter than Axiom’s tracks) and powerful transcendent songs, all three filled with strange yet catchy sharp riffs that blend comfortably with the violent scorching rasps of Panos, and unrelenting hyper-speed drumming. Moments of groovy powerchords help to slow down the pace before taking off into blast beats and swirling shreds; The Cosmologist exemplifies this perfectly. Dephosphorus have shown that they’re not satisfied with resting on the success of Axiom. Once again they display their ability to craft furious sounds — well arranged, thoughtfully written and tightly performed with a thick production while managing to retain their signature style. A searing, cacophonous and spacy journey as only they can conceive. (…)
Listen to the entire 7″EP now! We expect our copies tomorrow.
“(…) Side A is made up of three rapid-fire tracks from Dephosphorus. Unit is a huge sounding, wrecking ball of a song lasting for a minute and a half, and Dephosphorus even manage to inject some rock n roll influence into their sound. The Final Computronium begins in the same vein, but morphs into a more outright grind blast. The accented vocals of Panos Agoros making it sound even heavier. The Cosmologist starts off with a spoken word passage sitting atop of their instrumentation before one final lurching blast that completes their half of this split. (…) What a record this is. It takes multiple listens to fully appreciate, but both bands reward with skill and a rip-roaring morsel of grind at it’s best. As with other bands that 7 Degrees Records have released material with, both Dephosphorus and Wake make perfect bedfellows on what is an uncomplicated and blasting release.”
” (…) The 3 Dephosphorus songs are a really interesting and crushing mix of black metal, grind and crust and the songwriting is really good so it really makes songs, with a distinct Dephosphorus identity and atmosphere, and not a hodgepodge of different elements. Unit is a fast song with an almost slayeresque intensity but keeping the Dephosphorus sound and complexity. the two other songs are more midtempo but also really good. (…)”
Two names that should be synonymous with grindcore in 2012 are Dephosphorus andWake. Unfortunately this is not the case because these names do not reach far enough in today’s press circuit. But, fuck. They deserve it. Both of these bands are fucking phenomenal and they both absolutely crush their respective sides on the new split 7” that they are putting out on 7 Degrees Records. I was so stoked to get this split because I have loved both of these bands for quite some time. I knew that this would be a premiere split to check out this year and boy, was I right.
Dephosphorus pick up side A and pummel your ear drums into the ground right off. Their shocking brand of pummeling psychedelic grind is one that never disappoints and always delivers. Crushing aggression and pinpoint accuracy are a must for Dephosphorus, which means that there are no mistakes or boring parts to their just-over four and a half minutes of pulverizing adrenaline.
Settling the album out on the B-side is Canadian destroyers Wake. I posted about this band a while back and I loved their music so I was extremely stoked to learn that they would be releasing this 7”. This band’s neogrind aspect is spot-on all day, every day. Spot on accuracy and precision with ever passage makes their side just as creative asDephosphorus’ side.
Throughout this release there no disappointments and no regrets. This split is definitely one of my favorites of the year thus far and there is so much more coming from both of these bands that I cannot wait to see what it is they come up with next. Hoo-rah,Dephosphorus and Wake. You left me wanting more.
For fans of: Defeatist, Dead In The Dirt, Trap Them
Favorite track: “The Final Computronium”/”Veil Of Odin”
Label: 7 Degrees Records