Cycles of the Damned Premiere “Those Left Behind”; A Time to Survive out Oct. 12

cycles of the damned

Given the fact that the band is called Cycles of the Damned and the record is called A Time to Survive, should it really be any surprise that the outlook that encompasses the debut offering from the Seattle-based trio in question is grim? Probably not. And if you’re wondering what’s in a name, the reason A Time to Survive is Cycles of the Damned‘s debut album is because they used to be called Black Bone Exorcism, so clearly it’s a change they’ve made on purpose rather than just a phrase someone threw out in the practice room early on in their formation.

Comprised of guitarist/vocalist David Krone, bassist/vocalist Mike Lee and drummer Keith Greer, the three-piece recorded the hour-long churn-gruel work of post-metallic brutalism with none other than Tad Doyle, and the likeness to Doyle‘s own Brothers of the Sonic Cloth as well as to Neurosis in longform pummelers like “Cycles of the Damned” (12:24), “A Wound So Deep” (15:26), “Those Left Behind” (13:23) and the titular “A Time to Survive” (12:30) feels like more than happenstance — and while I’m implying a conscious decision-making behind their presentation, I’ll note that that likeness extends to A Time to Survive‘s fiery cover art. With a release through Doyle‘s Incineration Ceremony Recordings and DHU Records, which also stood behind Black Bone Exorcism‘s 2016 debut, Crack the Bone, Break the Heart, the record collects the above-noted crushers as well as the noise-drone interlude “Ring Shift of Light” (1:25) and the concluding barrage “The Last Transmission” (4:32), which mirrors the earlier “A Wound So Deep” in its use of specifically anti-organized-religion speech samples atop drone and a final lumbering riff.

I’m not going to cycles of the damned a time to surviveargue against resisting dogmatic hegemony — because, well, yeah — though with the capital-‘c’ Church having essentially skirted on raping generations of its followers, their children, and their children’s children, and the slow, willful dismantling of the American and European democratic political sphere into right-wing ethno-fascism over the last two-plus decades, I have to wonder if “god is dead” is really the ideological battle that needs to be fought in this moment. Particularly given the post-wasteland crush of “A Wound So Deep,” there may be more going on in A Time to Survive than just that, of course, but with the vocals rendered as guttural layers shouted up from an abyss of lumbering riffs and low-end, one has to work with the words that come through clearest.

A harsh, forward, metallic snare sound adds to a cold, mechanized feel for the album overall, and whether a given part is fast or slow or droning or crushing — mostly crushing — Cycles of the Damned deliver with conviction and a firm grip on atmosphere a compelling case for their own vicious mindset. Particularly with the trilogy of the eponymous opener, “A Wound So Deep” and “Those Left Behind” up front, A Time to Survive is consuming in its ambient and tonal weight alike, “Those Left Behind” for example seeming to find as much release in its second half through a nodding push as through a vicious, speedier thrust as through a final section of violin-accompanied residual guitar. The point is that as oppressive as Cycles of the Damned‘s sound can be and most definitely is, it’s not without reason behind either its point of view or sonic execution. That extends to “Ring Shift of Light” and to “The Last Transmission” as much as the title-track they surround on either side, as well as everything before.

One might go on through the thesaurus and find every other term to substitute for “brutal” in describing the aural oppression Cycles of the Damned emit or the frighteningly methodical nature of their delivery, but if you don’t get the idea by now, there’s probably nothing I can say that’s going to be as effective as hearing the music itself, so dig in below to the premiere of “Those Left Behind” and just have your face broken by that. PR wire info follows. Good luck.

And enjoy:

Seattle, Washington based trio CYCLES OF THE DAMNED successfully create a visceral experience sewn into intensely heavy and dark music. Showcasing a life experience in today’s world with malicious guitar onslaughts, hypnotic primeval rhythms, and despondently somber interludes, CYCLES OF THE DAMNED create the necessary chaos to violently break through the human subtopia of mediocrity into a new world with fresh, open eyes.

Members Dave Krone (Guitars/Vocals), Mike Lee (Bass/Vocals), and Keith Greer (Percussion) evolved past their original formation as Black Bone Exorcism, leaping forth from those years of musical craft and now rise to a higher level of heavy music.

CYCLES OF THE DAMNED invite you into their realm to hear their debut release ‘A TIME TO SURVIVE’, coming on October 12th, from Incineration Ceremony Recordings, the brainchild label of the legendary Tad Doyle. The trio of COTD continue their consistent message of roaring riffs, demolishing drums and bass, and creatively disturbing ambient landscaping to defy the boundaries of our vision of dystopia.

‘A Time To Survive’ Tracklist:
01. Cycles of the Damned
02. A Wound So Deep
03. Those Left Behind
04. Ring Shift of Light
05. A Time to Survive
06. The Last Transmission

The CYCLES OF THE DAMNED title track “A Time To Survive” is featured as the final track on the just-released September 2019 D.H.U. Records label sampler compilation, ‘MMCVII Vol. IV’ here. The Netherlands-based label is releasing the European edition of the CYCLES OF THE DAMNED debut album on vinyl, in conjunction with the U.S. release from Incineration Ceremony Recordings.

‘A Time To Survive’ was produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Tad Doyle at his Witch Ape Studio in Seattle, WA. All songs on ‘A Time To Survive’ were written and arranged by CYCLES OF THE DAMNED, with appearances in recording from Brandon Wilder (guitars) and Mischa Kianne (violins). Cover artwork by Adelyn Krone, with art production and photography by Chris Schanz.

The album ‘A Time To Survive’ will be available October 12th from Incineration Ceremony Recordings, with a limited vinyl pressing available globally from D.H.U. Records in Europe.

CYCLES OF THE DAMNED (l-r):
Keith Greer – Drums
Mike Lee – Bass, Vocals
David Krone – Guitars, Vocals

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3 Responses to “Cycles of the Damned Premiere “Those Left Behind”; A Time to Survive out Oct. 12”

  1. […] “One might go on through the thesaurus and find every other term to substitute for “brutal” in describing the aural oppression Cycles of the Damned emit or the frighteningly methodical nature of their delivery, but if you don’t get the idea by now, there’s probably nothing I can say that’s going to be as effective as hearing the music itself, so dig in…” ~ The Obelisk […]

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