Afterbirth, the New York-based death metal collective, will see release “The Time Traveler’s Dilemma”, their long-awaited debut, TOMORROW via Unique Leader Records.
“Originally, this song was always intended to be an instrumental,” offers guitarist Cody Drasser. “Even when we had our original, pioneering death metal vocalist Matt Duncan in the band and I was preparing the song to show to the rest of the members, it always had a sense, to me at least, of being a long, epic, and atmospheric progressive death metal track that lent itself more to mental imagery and inner wanderings than needing any particular lyrical vision. Conceptually, I had always been reminded of the horrific ambience and terror of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Nameless City when I was piecing the song together. The song title itself arose from a late-night death metal talk with a friend of mine many years ago and it always stuck in my head as being particularly inventive and memorable. Musically, it springs from inspiration guided by my early love for thrash and heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden, Kreator, Megadeth, Metallica, etc. as I wanted to capture and evoke the aura and spirit that those bands stirred up in my young psyche with their adventurous, legendary songwriting, especially when it came to some of their more extended, and epic song passages. For a long time it did exist as the instrumental version. After Matt’s departure from the band and new vocalist Will Smith coming on board, we all spoke about the idea of perhaps adding lyrics to the song; while I might have been slightly hesitant at first, Will presented ideas to the band that coincided with my own personal interpretations that were a perfect fit for the song and honestly too good to ignore just for the sake of keeping the track strictly instrumental.”
“I’m very proud that it ended up being used on the album,” adds Smith. Like most of the album, the song title and concept were established before I joined and I just wrote the lyrics based on my band mate’s ideas. Most of the visuals and narrative are based on the flashback scenes from The Exorcist II and Exorcist: The Beginning which explored that back story further.”
Afterbirth’s “The Time Traveler’s Dilemma” will see release on July 28th on CD, digital, and vinyl formats. The record was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Joseph Cincotta at Full Force Studios (Suffocation, Dehumanized, Mortal Decay) and comes enclosed in the cover art of Kishor Haulenbeek (Black Harvest). The vinyl edition was mastered by James Plotkin (OLD, Scorn, Khanate, Khlyst et al). As an extra bonus, Frank Rini (ex-Internal Bleeding) performs backing vocals on the track, “Timeless Formless.”
Preorders are currently available at THIS LOCATION. Additionally, you can sample “Maggots In Her Smile” streaming at Unique Leader’s official Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION, as well as “Drills And Needles”, which is still streaming, courtesy of No Clean Singing, at THIS LOCATION.
Among the earliest purveyors of brutal death metal, Afterbirth – featuring within its ranks members of Helmet, Artificial Brain, and Buckshot Facelift – was forged on Long Island, New York during the Summer of 1993. The following year, the band released the Psychopathic Embryotomy studio demo which has since become something of a cult-like classic among the extreme metal underground. Due to various issues among its members however, Afterbirth disbanded shortly thereafter the recording.
After a near-twenty-year hiatus, however, the band reunited in 2012 and began composing new material for an unknowable future and a then as-yet untitled debut. It became immediately apparent that the creative magic among the Afterbirth members remained – it had never left – resulting in some of their heaviest and most dynamic material to date.
Not only was the music heavier and far more aggressive than it had been during the band’s initial short-lived run, but new elements like progressive metal, space rock, jazz, and noise began to rise to the surface of their songwriting. Following a 2014 demo and 2015’s Maggots In Her Smile EP, Afterbirth is set to release their debut with The Time Traveler’s Dilemma, an otherworldly combination of sounds that shift between the discordant and the melodious; the alluring and the disfigured; the eccentric and the methodical.
Heavy, complex guitar work; atypically inspired bass rumblings; skillful, fast, and tastefully groovy drums/percussion; otherworldly growls from beyond known dimensions of time and space…
All of this and more combine to form the basis of Afterbirth’s current musical output. While the subject matter doesn’t stray too far from what some might call “typical” of the death metal genre – murderous grotesqueries, pain, and horrors unimaginable still certainly abound – the band’s vision has expanded far beyond the classic death metal template to include ideas and archetypes found in philosophical, religious, and scientific fiction/horror literature. “Just as our musical prowess had strengthened and amplified over the years,” notes the band, “so had our desires to express ourselves lyrically and conceptually. Gore and mutilated fetuses are always great and rich subject matter but we’ve all branched out and discovered other avenues of knowledge and inspiration we wanted to explore within the framework of the band.”
“Will Smith’s subterranean gurgles and growls are gruesome enough to loosen the bowels of listeners, while the near-atonal, percussive hammer blows inflicted by the band are heavy and hard enough that they vibrate the spine, just as the cold, frenzied riff swarms signal an inhuman voraciousness, and the bullet-spitting drum eruptions could leave your dwelling walls looking like slices of Swiss cheese.” – No Clean Singing on “Drills And Needles”.
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