Dephosphorus – Ravenous Solemnity (Pro)

Avante-garde astrogrind for the open-minded.
Release Date: 
24 Feb 2014 (All day)

Every now and then you listen to an album and, rather than experiencing the usual ‘ah, this kinda stuff again’ reaction, you’ll be left with a suprisingly agreeable ‘what the fuck is going on here?’

So it is with Ravenous Solemnity, the third full-length from Greek ‘astrogrind’ band, Dephosphorus. The ‘astrogrind’ genre that the band apply to themselves, while suiting the lyrical themes (indeed, there are more than a few songs here that reference the science fiction novels of the late Scottish author Iain M. Banks), couldn’t be less apposite for the music. Dephosphorus have an incredibly distinct sound that is earthy, direct, gritty and abrasive; a chattering rhythm section inexplicably melded with thick, twisted, grinding guitar lines.

Ravenous Solemnity succeeds 2012’s critically acclaimed Night Sky Transform, which I picked up following some widespread excitement about the band. Even then, it never occurred to me that the band would be classified as grindcore. This is a far more cerebral and involved listen than most grindcore albums. I’d always assumed that Dephosphorus were some sort of avante-garde black metal act, and the affinity here is far more in keeping with the boundary-expanding efforts of bands such as Ulcerate or Flourishing than any traditional grind act I could name.

Regardless of where they fit (or, more properly, where they don’t), Ravenous Solemnity is the most ‘what-the-fuck-was-that’ album that I have listened to for a long time. More importantly, it has the depth and substance to reward subsequent visits.

I’ll be coming back to this one for a good while.