You guys remember that really rad vocalist for The Faceless, Derek Rydquist? Well guess what? He’s in a good band now!
All kidding aside, Bereft is something of an all-star band made up of Sacha Dunable (Intronaut, Graviton), Derek Donley (Graviton), Charles Elliot (Abysmal Dawn), and the aforementioned Derek Rydquist. The band plays super crushing doom metal, with death metal and post-metal elements.
Bereft has been something of an enigma of late. We knew they existed, and had heard smatterings of rumors that the super-group were meeting and writing. The band released the track “Withered Efflorescence” to the public back in September, and have just recently been picked up by The End Records. With that, Bereft have also released the name of their upcoming album, Leichenhaus, which means mortuary in German. The album is said to revolve around a theme of a mortuary. If the track “Withered Efflorescence” is any indication, the music most certainly fits that atmosphere.
The song kicks off with big, fuzzy riffs, and a plodding drum beat. A few seconds in, the distorted guitars give way to ominous clean guitar licks that drip with terror and darkness. Then, the heavy chords return and with it Charles Elliot’s extremely guttural grunts, with the rest of the band shouting back refrains between the verses (Sacha Dunable’s trademark shouts are clearly audible). At this point, the song’s more death metal-elements are a bit generic, but it’s the experimental and post-metal sections when they’re channeling bands like Intronaut, Isis, and Neurosis that really make it shine. Not saying the death metal influences are bad, just not that interesting. Thankfully, Bereft seems to be much more interested in creating interesting and experimental music than just straight up death-doom.
The production on “Withered Efflorescence” is spot on. The heaviness of the guitars is never hindered, despite having quite a bit of acoustic and clean guitar tones, and even those are never lost in the mix. The drums hit hard, and don’t come off as flat or tinny, but never take over the rest of the music. The guttural vocals, while being slightly generic, fit the music perfectly on this track, and I absolutely love the backing vocals from the rest of the band. The use of spacey sound effects doesn’t turn the music plastic or fake-feeling either, which is surprising given how raw and dirty the song is.
This track alone shows that Bereft has amazing talent, and that their sound will be crushing, dark, and infectious. With the exception of Intronaut, I like this single track better than any song these guys have written with their other bands. I certainly hope this becomes more than just a collaboration or supergroup, and instead a full-time outfit. There’s so much potential here, it’ll be very exciting to hear what this band can create.
Liechenhaus is due out April 24, via The End Records. You can check out the band and listen to their track here.