Album Review: (0) (0)
The metal world is a funny world place. Where else, when a band or individual comes along with some sort of visage or nomenclature obscuring element or employs some element of mystery, will you suddenly have an entire scene getting its knickers in a twist and hopping into their homemade Mystery Machines in order to get to the bottom of shit? Before the internet made secrecy a thing of the past, we wondered about dudes with the surname of “Warrior” and if it really did say “Cronos,” “Abbadon”, “Mantas,” “Snake,” “Away,” “Blacky” and “Piggy” on their birth certificates. Recall the frenzy of the identities of those underneath all that Norwegian store-bought corpse paint. Remember how your world was crushed when you found out Graf Orlock weren’t really violent film school rebels/dropouts. That was all before the world went into a years-long conniption fit trying to figure out who Papa Emeritus and the Nameless Ghouls were.
However, anonymity is at a premium these days, so maybe we should congratulate those who are able to sustain any amount of it for any amount of time, like the members of Denmark’s (0). Their moniker is apparently supposed to be pronounced ‘Parentes0Parentes’ which seems like a real mouthful, really dumb and something to be taken up with the band members. But you can’t! That’s because they’ve carried out a good number of stops to obscure their identities. Though, tracking down who’s who in this band can’t be that hard, if you’re willing—unlike me—to get off your couch and do some deductive sleuthing. Or you can just wait for the other shoe to drop as this self-titled EP (originally self-released two years ago) is being reissued by Napalm. Their anonymity won’t last once a brighter spotlight gets shined on the band, but if you can’t wait, here’s what can be done:
(people, this is what I'm talking about: the extent of what (0) have for promo pics)
First, get your ass to Denmark. It’s not that big a country and the nation’s population is less than six million. Once you roll into Copenhagen, which logic dictates that a band as oddball sounding as (0) would hail from, that narrows the search down to less than 800,000 people. Head into the city center and locate the pack of metal dudes and dudettes – they should be easy to spot as they’ll likely be wearing our genre’s native garb: the black band t-shirt. From there, you’ll likely be led to a number of record stores and shows where you can start asking the important questions like: “Who owns the complete Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega discographies?”; “Are you someone who wouldn't regret spending a chunk of grocery money on overseas shipping for a Swans hoodie?”; “Which five people in town are the ones who actively listen to Glorior Belli?”; and “At what point did Mastodon become passé?”
(0) is a four-song collection—all songs, as one might expect, are denoted by bracketed non-sequential numbers—that draws just as much from caveman orthodoxy as it does erudite experimentalism. Side one’s three tracks are rife with a post-black metal gnarl, an elegance gleaned from the rhythmic thump of noise rock and falling-down-a-well vocals. There are surprising lurching single-note movements, Botch-like hammer-on/pull-offs and sludgy prog-metal in both “(1136)” and “(338)” that accentuate the bleak vibe that’s more prominent in “(441).” On the other hand, side two consists solely of a 12-minute soundscape that’s part 4AD calm, Tribes of Neurot ambience and Lower East Side performance art accompaniment.
From our speculating position in the cheap seats, (0) appears to be a side project—quite possibly featuring members of Denmark’s other unclassifiable blackened weirdos, Dodecahedron—that has gained quick renown via Napalm’s reissue. It’s a bold statement of mixed inspirations that are as diverging and fractured as they are coherent under the guise of avant-garde. This may not make much linear sense or have a target audience, but boundaries are pushed and new avenues explored. They shouldn’t be nobodies for much longer.