So if you’re interested in what madness sounds like, just check out Pathogenic’s new E.P., “The Solipsist Dream.”
The Lowell, MA, quintet combines death-metal brutality, especially via Jake Burns’s vocals, and prog-metal experimentation for a sound that is as captivating as it is jarring. The band keeps a dark, heavy base intact across the five songs on “The Solipsist Dream,” and then builds contrasts against it. In “Tempest,” the dynamic shifts pop up like unexpected visitors _ a keyboard riff here, a guitar stutter there. In “A Piece of Hell,” the whole arrangement of the song expands and contracts, going from steady grooves to spastic jams to conjure a sense of shifting ground.
While the sonic terrain keeps changing, the thematic dread is consistent. These five songs are a mental breakdown on tape. It’s all a to-and-fro of lashing out and getting beaten back. There’s an anger in the opening “Albatross’ that transforms across the songs into a melancholy acknowledgement (the message here seems to be we’re all kinda screwed) in the epic title track that closes the E.P.
“The Solipsist Dream” is thick with ideas, and to its credit Pathogenic gives them all room to breathe without losing the tension of this coiled sound.
“The Solipsist Dream” will be available Oct. 12 online via Pathogenic’s Facebook page and at pathogenic.bandcamp.com
Pathogenic has a CD-release show Friday, Oct. 12, at the Dirty Douglas in Lowell, MA. It’s an 8 p.m. show with The Summoned, Conforza, Panic Candy, and Everything.
The band is also playing Saturday, Oct. 13, as part of the Rock and Shock festival bill at The Palladium, 261 Main St., Worcester, MA. Gwar is the headliner that night.
Pathogenic is also part of Live Free of Get Hurt fest happening Oct. 20 at The Junkyard, 522 Amherst St., Nashua, N.H. The show starts at 3 p.m. and also features Internal Bleeding, Fit For an Autopsy, Conforza, Teeth, Swarm of Eyes, and others.