Canada has a knack for producing strange metal. The country has birthed avant-garde proggers uneXpect, thrash weirdos Voivod and the mad genius Devin Townsend. Most would connect Norway to blak metal, or Sweden to melodic death metal, and I think Super Massive Black Holes are further proof that Canada should be the country of metal oddities.
As I alluded to before, Super Massive Black Holes are an odd band. The band members file themselves under "experimental metal," which is apt, but it leads to some mystery. Experimental how? I will spoil it by saying that are a technical death metal band with love for both the chaotic and the melodic.
One moment the band could sound like Gorguts then the next Scale The Summit. There are also hints of Obscura, Dyshythmia, and even some John Zorn-esque jazz. Essentially, they are a fantastic kitchen sink metal band. They have everything.
"Dyatlov Pass Incident" is for the techy metalheads; most of the record is really. However, "Mathematics of Emotion" is for folks seeking soothing Andy McKee-like guitar wankery. Hell, even jam band enthusiasts have something in "Refracted Kaleidoscopic Photons."
The all over the place nature of this record is both a blessing and a curse. While I love when a band can dabble in just about every metal genre, it can sound forced. There are a few instances of weird fades in the music that suddenly take the listener to new places that simply sound like the band wanted to go there, but didn't have the proper bridge. This could also just be my nip-picky nature for production.
These gripes are few and far between. In further defense of this record, "Ghosts of Bhopal" may be my favorite prog song of the year thus far.
Listen for yourself here.