Cegvera Premiere “Fractals (Corrupted)” Live Video; UK Shows Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cegvera

In the time since Bristol, UK-based post-metallers Cegvera completed their tour dates in Mexico last summer, the band has signed a management deal, supported Elder and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard — among others — newly begun recording their second album, and most pivotally, made the transition from a trio to a two-piece, saying goodbye to bassist Aaron Scrupps in the process. As one might expect, there have been some changes in their dynamic as a result. The video premiering below for “Fractals (Corrupted)” is the first offering to come from the duo version of Cegvera and in addition to playing in the dark, as will happen, it finds guitarist Gerardo Arias covering more of the low-end in terms of tone where even on last year’s split with Vinnum Sabbathi (review here), he could be heard airing out a bit more post-rock-style drift. Drummer Matt Neicho, at least if the video is anything to go by, seems to relish in the change, and headbangs in time to his own cymbal crashes in a way that looks downright painful to my gentleman-of-a-certain-age self, adding even more force to the push of the rhythm as he goes.

“Fractals” is a song that would seem to have been around for a few years at least, with its roots in the band’s 2016 debut album that shared its name. “Fractals” from Fractals had a longer introduction from the guitar and a longer runtime as a result, but some of the crunch in the video below could also be heard on Cegvera‘s Live at Palíndromo, which was recorded in Guadalajara on the aforementioned Mexican tour and released this past January through LSDR Records, but the two-piece seem to strip it down even more, so that its progression is barely recognizable from the original “Fractals” and “Fractals (Corrupted)” becomes its own entity in this new form. Its post-metallic groove will be familiar to those who’ve been around the style long enough to understand what a “Stones from the Sky”-moment is, but it intrigues nonetheless thanks to the energy of its delivery and its blend of raw aggression and barebones atmosphere.

One has to wonder what might become of Cegvera going forward and how their sound might develop over the longer term with Arias and Neicho working on their own — if they even decide to continue on that route. “Fractals (Corrupted)” shows there’s potential for doing so — a way forward, in other words — and one suspects that after their next recording is done, the live dates below will help them further clarify the path they want to take. The rest of us will just have to wait to discover how it all shakes out, unless, you know, you can make it to a show or something like that.

Enjoy the premiere of “Fractals (Corrupted)” below, followed by more from the PR wire:

Cegvera, “Fractals (Corrupted)” official video

Recorded by Aleks Vezhdarov

Video by On Par http://onparproductions.co.uk/

It is the first time we record anything as a two piece (after aaron the bass player left the band). The session was recorded by Aleks Vezhdarov at University of West England (Bristol), and filmed by Toby Cameron (On Par Productions). It was recorded in a single take and filmed with a single camera.

Last release: the good earth is dying split w/ Vinnum Sabbathi, released by Stolen body records. Following dates:

With Weedruid (Germany):
23- May. Bristol, The cube
24 -May. Sheffield, Delicious Clam
25- May Coventry, The Arches

With Fumata (Mexico):
7- June London, The Dev.
8 – June Leeds, Bad Apples

Cegvera is:
Gerardo Arias – Guitar
Matt Neicho – Drums

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Review & Track Premiere: Vinnum Sabbathi & Cegvera, The Good Earth is Dying Split

Posted in audiObelisk on November 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vinnum sabbathi cegvera the good earth is dying split cover

[Click play above to hear the premieres of ‘Intermission (The Good Earth is Dying)’ and ‘Arrival/Colonia’ from Vinnum Sabbathi and Cegvera’s The Good Earth is Dying split. LP, CD and DL are released Dec. 10 on Stolen Body Records.]

For as long as humanity has been willing to acknowledge its existence — a substantially shorter amount of time than humanity has known about it — space has represented a reason to hope. The question of whether or not we’re alone in the universe — spoiler alert: nope — and whether we might someday wander among the stars has been a central fuel burnt by science and science-fiction alike. But nothing is apolitical, and with their new split release, Vinnum Sabbathi and Cegvera remind that at best, interplanetary exploration and even colonization can only be a temporary fix without real, substantive changes to what it means to be human. The five-track/33-minute The Good Earth is Dying paints a grim picture that only seems suitable when one looks at shifting weather patterns, melting permafrost, rising sea levels, floating garbage islands and dying coral reefs, and though there are no lyrics, in the titles of its instrumental pieces, the offering brings the two bands together to work around the common theme. A narrative arc is followed that takes human beings deeper into space than we’ve ever gone before, only to find, colonize and destroy yet another world, having learned nothing from the collapsing of earth’s ecosystem that caused us to leave in the first place.

Samples from NASA documentaries pervade Vinnum Sabbathi‘s “HEX VIII: The Malthusian Spectre,” and the transition with “Intermission (The Good Earth is Dying)” involves both bands before Cegvera — who also see Vinnum Sabbathi drummer Gerardo Arias move to guitar to play on their portion — get underway with “Arrival/Colonia,” before moving into “Depletion/Overshoot” and the inevitable-seeming “Collapse/Aftermath.” The ease with which the two lineups come together emphasizes a central characteristic of The Good Earth is Dying, which is just how much the two bands are working toward the same ends, toward telling the same story instrumentally. Granted, the Mexico City and Bristol, UK, outfits have their sonic disparities, with Vinnum Sabbathi centering more on crunching riffage and Cegvera shifting from sludge into most post-metallic fare, but this split was born earlier in 2018 following a tour the two groups did together in Mexico, and rather than play in competition with each other as so many splits see groups do, The Good Earth is Dying — recorded, mixed and mastered by KB at Testa Studio in León, Guanajuato — demonstrates just how much the two bands work together.

Granted, for Vinnum Sabbathi, the 13-minute “HEX VIII: The Malthusian Spectre” continues a live-recorded, should-be-compiled-into-an-LP-at-some-point-how-about-now series of tracks that has also had two prior installments on their April 2018 split with Owain and began on 2015’s split with Bar de Monjas (review here), but that song’s relation to ideas about overpopulation tie directly into the destruction of natural resources characterized in Cegvera‘s three tracks. And there’s precious little to argue with in terms of delivery from Vinnum Sabbathi either, as the band fluidly bring their stage-hewn chemistry to the studio as one would expect. Their commitment to recording live extends back through their awaited 2017 full-length debut, Gravity Works (review here), and their earlier work, and at this point it’s their standard modus. Adding samples after the fact lends further depth to the proceedings, and a studio feel is enhanced as well through the sampling on “Intermission (The Good Earth is Dying),” which ends with a recording of people laughing amid the sound of bagpipes before shifting into the quiet opening lines of “Arrival/Colonia” that soon give way to such heavy nod on the five-minute track.

Arriving on this foreign world seems to be the easy part, and things are rolling along well enough on a heavy groove as Cegvera unfold their portion of the outing, but the atmosphere only grows darker with time, and “Depletion/Overshoot” finds them exploring textures out of mournful heavy blues and airy post-rock alike before turning again to heavier riffing — some prime fuzz, that — and in what’s presumably the “Overshoot” portion in the second half of the song, an increasingly intense forward pummel. By the time they’re into the last minute, cacophony has taken full hold of the song, and they leave a final note out to hang in open space as a transition into the organ-laced final statement, “Collapse/Aftermath,” which indeed feels suitably mournful as regards humanity’s prospects for a better existence. Fair. The floating guitars that showed up in “Depletion/Overshoot” make a return over a gradually-unfurled progression that, at 90 seconds into its total 6:35, turns to a build that brings it to more densely-weighted riffing. If that’s the collapse, then the aftermath is no less engaging or heavy in its execution, and one is reminded of the ambience that Vinnum Sabbathi are able to so naturally conjure on “HEX VIII: The Malthusian Spectre” with echoing guitars and such heft of tone.

That Cegvera would seem to be so much in conversation with “HEX VIII: The Malthusian Spectre” — whether the songs were written out or the concept decided before the tour or not — is emblematic of how well the two groups sit alongside each other. With the bulk of the time belonging to the latter, there’s nonetheless room for both to offer a suitable glimpse at their overall approach while staying on-message in terms of the plotline being followed. I guess the only shame is they didn’t have it to take on tour earlier this year, but these things have a way of working out, whether Cegvera — now a duo down from the three/four-piece they are here — return to Mexico or bring Vinnum Sabbathi to the UK in a show-trade. Either way, the split stands as a document of their time on the road and what they were able to construct in terms of song and theme alike. There may or may not be hope for the future of humanity — again, spoiler alert: nope — but no one other than the willfully blind can say we didn’t see it coming, and though the future they’re imaging isn’t particularly bright, that they’re imagining it at all speaks to one aspect of our species most worth preserving.

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