It’s really easy and fun to dwell on darkness especially when you have pals like Roman Numeral Records supplying you with that ultra dark heavy pack on the regular. On my radar for the last couple years, they’ve put out some unique heat during a time when it’s tough to align all desires. Somewhere along the lines you’re asked to sacrifice or settle for less just to get needs met in some department – ethics, quality, value, etc. –  but Roman Numeral aren’t the ones to make you pick in that way though.

Astute readers will also pick up on the fact that we work with them regularly to premiere some awesome shit. Today’s no different and certainly fits the criteria laid out above. We’re premiering Trembling and Dowsed, the new EP from Atlanta’s Malevich, a blackened sludgy hardcore mess of a project. It officially comes out on Friday, April 26, but now you can hear the whole thing in full thanks to the magic of collaboration.

Giving the band space to speak on their work, they say:

Trembling and Dowsed was a project born of us challenging ourselves to step into new sonic territory. We wanted to write a set of songs that would allow us space to play with tape loops, electronic textures, and a wider range of instrumentation. It was also the first release of ours that Connor [Ray, vocals/guitar/electronics] recorded at his studio in Atlanta, Sobek Sound. That control gave us the power to construct songs in the studio, refine our songwriting, and experiment in ways which we had never been able to before.’

The aura of the EP reeks of that independence, the absence of pressure to adhere to a cookie cutter form of any heavy music label you could plaster above their dingy cage. There’s a deep-rooted power and pain in it as a result. Throughout four songs, the band toy with a malaise and emotionality that cuts deep and hard with all the raw force of a car crash. “Irène Jacob” is flagellating with its motions, escorted into being by murmuring electronics and an anxious, pulsating tone before it’s split away in favor of lumbering guitars, pounding drums, and wrathful yelling. Post-metal stylings hang in the backend of the track as if from nooses as Ray belts out, ‘Break through and let me hold you tight/Just this once… as we both cling to a tiny hope‘.

“Red to Gold” is a massively upfront appeal to the rougher side of the senses, practically collapsing on itself with stinging guitars producing sickening, twisting melodies at every turn. I haven’t heard music quite this sonically depraved since Indian and Lord Mantis‘ heydays. The music does not feel good, but it sounds good, speaking to Malevich‘s ability to imbue their work with a profound mood – if you know, you know. On the other side of the spectrum, we have “I Can Hear It Constantly, Without Relent”, easily my favorite track on the EP, an ominously calm track with an almost jazzy affectation to start off, somber yet collected like a rainy night in lonely suburbs. The lower, cleaner croon of the vocals in the first verse are oddly welcoming and drop some lyrical gems on us – ‘Leave the past where it belongs/March forward with compassion‘ – before falling apart at the seams to erupt with a post-hardcore fervor. It repeats this shifting a number of times before coming to a melancholic end and changing over to the boot-to-the-dick that is “Inalienable”, which I’ll let you indulge in yourself.

It’s easy to see why Malevich have played on the same bills as bands like Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean and Infant Island. With Trembling and Dowsed, they give expertly executed dilapidated cavern music that sounds like how an abandoned cabin in the woods feels. There’s an unshakable haunting to it that latches on and doesn’t let go until well after you step away from it. You feel like something is truly wrong when listening. You should immediately know if this kind of thing is for you and if it is, you’ll love it. Fans of Black Sheep Wall, Sundr, or any of the other bands mentioned above need to experience this EP ASAP.

Big thankies to our pals in Roman Numeral Records and for entrusting us with this premiere. You can follow Malevich on Facebook and Instagram. There’s still time to preorder Trembling and Dowsed before its official release on Friday, April 26 (including on two vinyl variants and cassette) and you can do that at their Bandcamp page. Finally, if you’re more of a flesh-and-blood type of person, maybe you can catch them tearing shit up on stage with Aseethe throughout North America starting on April 30 in St. Louis, MO. Dates and venues below:

All band photos by Samuel Laubscher

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

"I came up and so could you, and fuck the boys in blue" - RMR

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