Halluciante - From the Bowels of the Earth 12"
Formed in 2021 and featuring members of Graveyard Ghoul and Karloff, HALLUCINATE quickly set to work to work on their first public recording, the two-song Demo '22. Even at this early stage, HALLUCINATE's sound was already exhibiting a unique flair: despite working within the realms of death metal, something strange was brewing there. Not for nothing were the band monikered as such; flourishes of heavy, dark psychedelia and prog swirled about in their murky cauldron.
Now that cauldron is set to boil over with HALLUCINATE's full-length debut, From the Bowels of the Earth. As vocalist / lead guitarist Persecutor explains, "From the Bowels of the Earth sprung forth from a very tough psilocybin experience right before the onset of the pandemic. It almost broke me mentally; I wasn't prepared for it at all. I started writing the songs in an attempt to put myself back together, trying to integrate that experience. It was a very dark and intimidating display of ancient powerful archetypes haunting me with synchronistic, apocryphal, and soul-crushing revelations - not the funky-shmunky colorful hippie shit most people associate with this stuff. So a psych-stricken, kinda-prog death metal record felt most natural to tell the story, where each song represents a stage of the trip with its physiological, psychic and spiritual implications."
Indeed, just a cursory glance at the album's attendant song titles - and in particular, the triumvirate of "Blackened Gills," "Black Smokers," and "Mahavishnu's Dream" - will tell you this is NOT going to be a Normal Death Metal Record. Yet, just the same, HALLUCINATE's idiosyncratic muse is one that's thoroughly integrated into their aesthetic - as rough-hewn as true death metal should be, but subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) stirred with an alchemist's touch - rather than retrofitting mawkish elements in a shallow show of "weirdness." It all starts with strong songwriting, is pushed forward with loose & locked-in execution, and then is embellished with tasteful touches of said psychedelia and prog, either in the solar-flaring leads or in dramatic-yet-smooth breaks. Further, From the Bowels of the Earth sees HALLUCINATE moving at many speeds, instilling many sensations along the way - foremost among them, comfort in dissonance and nature mysticism by way of suspended release - but always with the rumbling crush of classic '90s death metal. Nods could be made to Sweden's Seance and Desultory in the past or Chapel of Disease and Gold Spire in the present, but perhaps no better recommendation could come than with a guest vocal appearance by Sweven's Robert Andersson (of course, also ex-Morbus Chron).
"Psychedelic experience" can take on many different meanings for many different people, but those who can trace a through-line from Dismember to Skullflower are wholeheartedly encouraged to enter HALLUCINATE's From the Bowels of the Earth.