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Magnalith - EP Review: Instrumentality

15 Apr 2021 // A review by River Tucker

If you ever had the inclination to record some music, heading over to Auckland’s LAB studios to lay down some drums is a good way to begin. Not only have they provided Mathew Bosher’s solo release with the depth of sound his chosen genres demand but they also ensure the contagious rhythms on Instrumentality, his debut EP under the moniker Magnalith, have the cut through required to get listener’s fully engaged.

Opening track Instrumentality immediately jumps up and smacks you in the cochlea. Blistering blast beats and a netherworld scream are highly effective and made even more devastating by sparse passages of darkness. Far from being mere prog, Bosher’s writing style incorporates elements of speed, death and operatic metal. The result is one brilliantly heavy and diverse song that deserves all the accolades it gets.

With a dynamic range on another level, Intimacy’s End takes a more contemplative jaunt into cross-genre brilliance. Think Tesseract crossed with elements of Placebo and interspersed by Cradle of Filth stabs. Subtle musical nuances and numerous changes in pace add another dimension to this cathartic track. It’s a varied mix of influence bordering at times on djent and doom, a fusion that has a certain appeal because of its non-commerciality.

Subnautica brings things down another notch with some awe-inspiring hypnotic riffs and dreamscape vocals sung both clean and in death growl. A more straightforward arrangement and poignant keyboard harmonies help to augment the expansive undertone of this monumental track. Bosher’s mastery of unusual scales, odd time signatures and surreal lyrics are evidently composed for people thinking outside of the square.

Released on Rothko Records, to simply call this three-track EP progressive is a disservice to the eclectic mix of styles Magnalith taps into. Make sure you check it out today.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Magnalith

Magnalith is dense but concise, expressionistic but corporeal music. Tangentially metal, curiously harmonic. Unbridled structural deviations see handbrake slides into weird, cinematic passages that lurch back into leviathan riffs.

The second EP, Oblivion (out 5 May) builds out the fantastical but humanistic atmosphere of the debut, Instrumentality. The hallmarks of experimental vignettes, conceptual lyricism, pathos and sagacious mixing remain. The new release accelerates the heavy, harmonic and cerebral qualities that capture the imagination of post-metal, prog and hard rock fans.

For songwriter Mathew Bosher, the first single, Sympathy, represents a return to music. Production of the EP was interrupted by the premature birth of his son; a welcome but harrowing arrival. Bosher spent a day in the recording studio, then a hundred in the neonatal intensive care unit with his family. He stopped listening to music for the first few weeks of his son’s care, recognising that any songs would be imbued with his family's trauma. Now the little one is thriving. Completing the recordings was a kind of celebration of the urgent and irrepressible creative force.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Magnalith

Releases

Oblivion
Year: 2023
Type: EP
Instrumentality
Year: 2021
Type: EP

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