It’s Monday and Mondays suck, so let’s grind it out with the premiere of Estuarine’s Nyarlathotep.
If one were to psychologically describe the events of the last year, it would be difficult not to call it Lovecraftian to some degree. Last year is one of the most tumultuous, life-changing experiences for virtually all humans. As a result, much of the music of last year and this one so far has been dark, aggressive, or weird. Three words that would well describe today’s album premiere.
Estuarine is a name you might be familiar with if you dabble in the more experimental, odd side of grind or death. The Tampa, FL one-man-band led by Hydrus (aka, Chris Skrocki) has been putting out music since 2013, and the latest release is every bit as Lovecraftian as the album’s title would suggest.
Written around and inspired by the Lovecraft short story of the same name, Nyarlathotep is a twisted chunk of an album. Like the story itself, it is not long, but there is plenty of meat on its bones. It is an EP that sounds a lot like Howls of Ebb or Demilich but gone more in a grind direction. “Crawling Chaos” opens the record, erupting from the depths. The crawling might seem a bit misleading since the track is firing on all cylinders and mentally scrambling the listener all at once. And though it starts fast, it gets faster until molding into the next track, “Carriers of Shadow.”
The transition is so smooth that one might not notice it for a few listens unless one is watching the seconds tick down. But seamless, or perhaps formless, is the best way to describe the flow of this album. Tracks morph into one another and before one knows it, the album is wrapping up. It is also a testament to its ten-minute runtime, with most tracks hovering around a minute. And though it is a short trip into the nameless depths, Nyarlathotep is an album with a lot of personality.
The writing is less about centring blast beats, though they are plenty and a lot more about technicality. This is not typical grindcore, there is plenty of melodic passages. In a way, it is akin to the kind of sweeping, fast melody that Gridlink is known for. Honestly, the album is kind of like a marriage between Howls of Ebb and Gridlink. Shorter songs, very technical, but with a Lovecraft touch.
Concerning the album, Hydrus had this to say about it:
"It's kind of weird to think that in a perfect world I would've had a perfectly normal year last year, running around having a great time and this EP wouldn't even exist.. But last year was not perfectly normal, I spent a good majority of the year locked in a house, this record does exist and so does a lot more Estuarine music that is going to be coming out over the next couple of years. I guess things happen for a reason or something?
Thanks for listening ladies and gentlemen, and a special thanks to anyone and everyone who's ever supported Estuarine in any way over the years. I appreciate the living shit out of all of you. Anyone new to the project should probably know that my entire back catalogue is free on Bandcamp or where ever else you like to stream music, so if you're liking my songs know that there's a lot more of them and I've made it easy to get caught up.
Last thing I want to say is that both this EP and my last where both dedicated to some local musicians/former bandmates that had a big influence on me over the years, all of which are no longer with us unfortunately. Rest in power to Collin "Asmodaeus" Andrews (Led by Serpents, End Unseen), David "Satorn" Ridenour (Torched Ebony Skies, Nakhiel, Saturnine) and Eric "Lord Tartarus" Navarro (Imperial Conquest). Listen to their music."
The best way to describe this album is insane. If this album is the result of madness, it is a kind of madness most cannot channel into art. Technical grinding horror manifested from the beyond. It should also be noted that not only is the below debut the full album as a playlist, but it is also a guitar playthrough song-by-song. Come lose your mind in the depths and get grinding on this!