Release date: April 28, 2017.
Label: Self-Released.This latest EP from Rochester-based grinders Blurring came out in April, two years to the day after their full-length debut, and though it runs only half as long as its elder brother, it’s very much in line with what came before.
Given the band members’ pedigrees, the overall sound of Blurring isn’t too much of a surprise: Guitarists Matt Colbert and Scott D’Agostino are also in noisy death-grinders Kalibas, as was drummer Erik Burke, who also played guitar in Sulaco and in the final incarnation of Brutal Truth. Bassist Danny Lilker was also in Brutal Truth, as well as about 25 other bands. Vocalist Mark Weldon performed in Warblade, a melodic black metal band with which I’m entirely unfamiliar. Add up all those parts, and you get Blurring: a noisy, skronky, blackened, grinding beast.
“I will fucking bash you in the face!” Cloud Burner declares, and then proceeds to do just that. “November” blasts and swings beneath wickedly dissonant riffs, shifting seemingly at random while the guitars scrape against each other in perfect cacophony, the notes clashing and swirling like panicked insects. By the time it devolves into the filtered noisy transition that leads into the arpeggiated intro to “Casket Black,” the intensity has been ratcheted up so far that those ugly atonal chords played with a guitar tone made of razor-sharp scrap metal are a welcome respite… before the storm begins again a minute later and never subsides.
And so it goes for fifteen glorious minutes. Blastbeats abound; riffs shift from speedy twisting runs to icier-toned, black-tinted dissonance, each equally noisy, each filled to bursting with the ferocity of a caged animal. Weldon’s growl anchors Blurring further into the blackened, but the seemingly random riff-structures and those atonal skronks push it back to grindcore born of metallic hardcore and noise, and somewhere in the middle of all that, the lines get… well… blurred.
No matter what anyone wants to call it, one thing is certain: Cloud Burner is an ugly, ugly beast.
And that’s a very good thing.