Pittburgh’s Dendritic Arbor have been making some big waves in the extreme music underground since forming in 2012. 2015 has been one of the busiest years for the band, with the release of a single, a full-length album entitled Romantic Love, and a tour. Striking while the iron is hot, Dendritic Arbor have unleashed a new EP of blackened sonic terror, Sentient Village // Obsolescent Garden.
Clocking in at around 20 minutes, Dendritic Arbor manage to cover more sounds in one EP than many bands cover in their entire careers. Mixing noise, grindcore, and black metal, they play a form of nightmare-inducing metal that places them somewhere between Gorguts, Anaal Nathrakh, and Krallice. Opening track “Cotard Delusion” is about as fierce as you can get, with noisy, clashing guitars, demonic vocals that remind me of Krallice, and crushing drums.
Time signatures are all over the place in this EP, which will definitely appeal to fans of the technical metal persuasion, but the black metal-influenced atmosphere found throughout will also attract more traditional style metal fans as well. “Latex” is my particular favorite of the 4 songs, with the closest to a straight-forward song structure, if you can call the chaotic blackened sounds of later-era Deathspell Omega structured. About a third of the way into the song, the band breaks into an almost melodic, melancholy black metal riff that gives the listener a chance to breath, before diving back into a savage, pounding noise riff.
Dendritic Arbor are continuing their winning streak with Sentient Village // Obsolescent Garden, with some of the most terrifying/exciting tunes I’ve heard a while. Metal fans looking for a little more structure might be turned off, but I’d counter that black metal was never meant to be widely accepted in the first place. Give this EP a few spins, but leave the lights on.