IT IS DEAD is self-proclaimed “cryptsludge” – a newly minted subgenre mixing the droning distortion of sludge with the existential dread of dark ambient and the tortured vocals of black metal, creating a sorrowful amalgamation that pays tribute to the forebearers of malevolent sounds while trudging a path all its own. Their debut EP, titled “A Place of Darkness,” is a metaphorical representation of the artist’s past tribulations with personal demons; fighting them, and emerging from the other side a stronger, more focused entity.
IT IS DEAD flows between murky, downtuned walls of fuzz and cavernous reverb-soaked melodic progressions, all while ritualistic vocal emanations evoke a séance-like atmosphere through monotone chants and vile, guttural screams. What “A Place of Darkness” lacks in production it makes up for in intention – self-recorded by the artist to properly capture the desired spirit and performance, the tracks share common blood with the infamous “necro production” style of black metal demos, and were consciously chosen to be released on cassette to embrace the aesthetic. Over the two sidelong tracks of “A Place of Darkness,” IT IS DEAD remain primitive in their minimalism, ambling through dimly-lit passageways towards blinding fires of Satanic light.
About the Artist: IT IS DEAD is the solo cryptsludge project of Kevin Pappas, a Milwaukee, WI based artist who creates a uniquely-honed musical vision which they describe as a “wall of existential dread”. Having played in a handful of crushing bands in the past (Gravedirt, Old Resolution), Pappas is no stranger to sounds heavy and loud, and on this project performs all guitar, vocals, synths, and other instruments himself. It’s easy to think “heavier = more evil” when it comes to music, especially metal, but IT IS DEAD proves that’s not always the case. Sometimes it takes getting lost on a journey through the catacombs of darkness to uncover the truth about yourself.