“The music this Philadelphia four-piece plays is a kind of metal, the way Lost Highway is a kind of movie. It's an elastic tissue of creepy electronic noise and barely-human screaming, impregnated with patches of riff-salad grind and hypercube mathcore."
“Progressive, vitriolic and overwhelming... Raging grind gives way to plodding, cumbersome doom before opening the gates to ambient passages akin to the dark, cryptic atmosphere of Emperor.”
Philadelphia quartet Cleric presents sophomore album Retrocausal, its first new full-length in seven years.
Retrocausal is set for a December 8th release on Web of Mimicry, the label owned by musician Trey Spruance of Mr. Bungle and Secret Chiefs 3.
Stream new track "Ifrit," from Retrocausal, and pre-order the album, here:
Founded in Philly in 2003, Cleric resides in the circle of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Car Bomb – elite musicians playing avant-metal that wows on both a cerebral level and a gut level. Cleric's brand of metal is marked by dark, cinematic atmospheres and free jazz-informed forays, bursting through a base of highly technical, mathy shred. As a review in Chicago Reader phrased it, the sound is "a kind of metal, the way [David Lynch's] Lost Highway is a kind of movie. It's an elastic tissue of creepy electronic noise and barely-human screaming, impregnated with patches of riff-salad grind and hypercube mathcore."
On Retrocausal, Cleric has pushed its style to new heights. Meshuggah-esque hypnosis, doomful synths, spastic skronking, and blastbeats weave together into highly unpredictable, kitchen-sink epics, many surpassing the 9-minute mark. An ominous vibe, straight off a movie screen, underlies everything; lurking in the shadows are mysterious samples and field recordings evoking deep sea and outer space.
In addition to Zorn, Retrocausal features guest appearances by Mick Barr (Krallice, Orthrelm, Ocrilim) and Timba Harris (Secret Chiefs 3).
The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia) at The Thousand Caves in Queens, New York.
The artwork was created by Cleric's Nick Shellenberger.
Label boss Spruance states, "When we here at Web of Mimicry ran across Cleric's music it almost seemed as if some kind of prophecy was being fulfilled. The music registered in our minds as a kind of missing link, like an inevitable stage in metal-oriented music that has needed to happen for a long time now."
1) The Treme
3) Lowell (Beef)
7) The Spiraling Abyss
9) Grey Lodge
Nick Shellenberger - vocals, keyboards
Matt Hollenberg - guitar
Daniel Ephraim Kennedy - bass
Larry Kwartowitz - drums
Timba Harris - violin on "The Treme"
Mick Barr - guitar on "Soroboruo"
John Zorn - alto saxophone on "Grey Lodge"
Retrocausal (Web of Mimicry Records, 2017)
"Resumption" 7" single (Web of Mimicry Records, 2014)
Regressions (Web of Mimicry Records, 2010)
"Cumberbund" 12" single (Sound Devastation Records, 2008)
"Allotriophagy" CD single (self-released, 2006)
The Underling EP (self-released, 2004)
Nov 16 - New York, NY @ Village Vanguard (performing John Zorn's Masada material)
Dec 3 - Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus - Retrocausal record release show