What is Madness?
Madness is listening to the first several minutes of opening track ‘De Profundis’ and trying to figure out how some of the most technical and interesting death metal can be made by one bassist and one drummer!
So yes Geryon is just Nick McMaster and Lev Weinstein who play bass and drums respectively in another band Krallice, and in their own words state “In this project we explore the sounds of our first love, death metal, through the format of just a bass and drums duo. Despite the minimal setup we have tried our hardest to make it a full an engaging listen both sonically and compositionally.”
And you know what?
They damn well succeed!
As the full 8 minutes and 43 seconds of the afore mentioned ‘De Profundis’ twists and turns with the drums propelling the momentum with double bass and blast beats, the bass is played at much slower tempo giving it and the song dynamic room to breathe in between the growled barks.
Geryon have a very lo-fi old school black metal style production which works to their advantage in this instance adding a rawness and dark atmosphere to the sound that a fuller production would strip away, even if the more up tempo nature of ‘Birth’ flirts with sounding like a 80’s video game soundtrack.
There are no (or don’t appear to be any) fancy effects used by either member, the bass just sounds like a normal bass, not even overdriven/distorted, yet on ‘Lament’ and closing epic 'To the Silenced' they generate not only impressive riffs and crushing heaviness but a surprisingly intense feeling of claustrophobia/pressure. (I could easily argue that it works better as a metaphor for drowning than The Ocean or Dotzauer attempt to achieve.)
I get the suspicion a lot of people will hate this due to the relentless and intense nature of the bass lines, but personally it feels totally natural and I love it.