Eggþér: A Case Study of EPs in 2016

By all accounts, 2016 has been a fantastic year for EPs. Perhaps this has been a function of great bands maintaining the steam off killer full-lengths dropped in previous years? Perhaps bands are beginning to function differently in a post-digital streaming world, when more frequent releases of less bloated content become more desirable to keep listeners on the hook? Whatever the reason, you’ll hear no complaints from me. Although I appreciate a dynamic LP as much as anyone, a trimmed, sharp EP can be just as lethal in the right hands. Today we’re celebrating some of the best EPs released this year. Show me what you’ve got!

I could write at length about the momentous EPs from bands like UrukKrallice, Ceremented, VRTRADakhmaInfernariumSpirit Adrift, GorgutsReplicantPyrrhonBereaveGod RootSkeletonwitch, and countless others I’m surely forgetting. However, today I’d like to focus on a new EP, the debut effort from Denmark’s Eggþér. The band’s first official release, Volume Null, twists black metal, crust, and psychedelic doom in a surprisingly deft manner to produce a high-fidelity, agile EP that works exceptionally well in the shorter format.

Volume Null consists of three ardent tracks that careen violently -but never chaotically- between doomy trudges and full-tilt d-beats, occasionally taking the time to stomp on listeners’ throats with righteous indignation and infectious headbangability. Sparse are the vocals, used only for minor accents against the bass drum (as in closer “Nadir”), and surprisingly warm and open is the production job. it’s a bit disorienting at first to hear such crisp and clear blasts and tremolo chords, but when the band takes a sharp left into a plaintive clean guitar passage or an orchestrated accoutrement, the band’s intentions become a bit clearer.

Admittedly, it doesn’t all work perfectly. Opening track “Void,” through resplendent in its breathy atmosphere, drags a bit longer than you’d hope for an EP. Some of the mood shifts and tonal changes, veering from icy vehemence to contemplative rest, can also stymy the flow and pace of the record. As a proof of concept, though, Volume Null delivers in spades. Fans of progressive, artful music will have more than enough to enjoy in a run-time just barely cresting 20 minutes, and those with a thirst for the unique will undoubtedly be piqued enough to explore any future material from the band.

Volume Null is by no means a perfect release, but it is perfect in demonstrating one of the two ways in which EPs can help bands retain relevance in a short attention span and radio single driven music economy. EPs can either fill the niche of quintessential material at a cheaper cost, loosening the shackles of overstuffed tracks in favor of showcasing everything the band does well in a record you can spin fully in a single commute, or they can present a melange of ideas and capabilities that will hook the listener and persuade them to stick around for the long haul. Volume Null is an excellent demonstration of the latter function, and I can imagine most of you who enjoy things on the well-produced, progressive side will find little here to trifle over.

As we enter the final third of 2016, I fully expect just as many quality EPs as full-lengths to drop. In fact, we may be witnessing a shift in the dynamics of the industry. If the subscription-based services of Bandcamp are any indication, more frequent and shorter releases are here to stay.

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Published on: August 24, 2016

Filled Under: New Stuff, Opinion

Views: 931

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  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    Are EP’s qualified too be on AoTY lists?

    • Eliza

      I think yes. They are not that different from LPs, just a little shorter.

    • They are for me. I’ve liked more EP’s, Splits, and demos from this year than full lengths.

      • Elegant Gazing Globe

        I was thinking the other day that I may not have 10 LPs that I could rank for 2016, but if I could add in an EP or too I could pull it off.

    • Dubbbz

      You’ll have to submit this question to the Royal List Guild.

    • If an EP contains enough quality material to eclipse an LP, I feel like that’s the only qualification it requires. Do it.

  • Like HD said a few days back. “This year has been great for Demo’s and EP’s” Same goes for Splits as well. I haven’t heard any of these EP’s yet Dubya. Not much of a fan of newer Gorguts, so I’m probably going to pass on that one. Will bookmark some of these others for this week when I find the time. My playlist is pretty full for this week. Here is a list of some of the EP’s/Splits/Demos I enjoyed from this for shitz and gigglez. I’ve been keeping a strict list for this year. Dumb.

    Intolitarian – Suicidal Allegiance
    Oligarch – Hypocrisy Oath
    Ritual Death – S/T
    Prisoners of War – Rot
    Eucharist – Endarkenment
    Sonic Poison – Harsh Demonstration
    Cadaveric Fumes – Dimensions Obscure

    Reek Of The Unzen Gas Fumes/Konflict – Conflict Is Control / Poisonous Gas Thrower Of Jigoku
    Fiend/Endless Demise
    Fiend/Suffering Mind
    Coffin Birth / Shitgrinder
    Nasty Face/Pancreatic Purulence

    Hegemony – S/T
    Smut – Slop
    Enucleator – S/T
    Hexenslaught – S/T
    Celestial Grave – Burial Ground Trance
    Pigs Blood – S/T
    Vomit Noir – S/T
    Sielunvihollinen – Tuhontuoja
    Ululatum Tollunt – Order of the Morningstars
    Draped Urn – Degenerate
    Black Viper – Storming With Vengeance Demo
    Blood Chalice – S/T
    Ifrinn – S/T
    Tomb Mold – The Bottomless Perdition
    Goath – S/T
    Вандализм – S/T
    Mothersuperior – S/T
    Xantam – LifeDeathBeyond

    • Dubbbz

      I’ve been slacking on my grind lately. Still need to jam those new splits with Fiend and Coffin Birth.

      • That Coffin Birth / Shitgrinder split is grind perfection. Both bands put on a perfect display of how grind should sound IMO. Check out that Modorra/Bodybag split too. I think you’ll really like that Modorra side. Bodybag is pretty much Matchetazo but with a different name. So just expect some killer OSDM grind. That Shitstorm release is probably the most relentless release in terms of grind this year and it’s only like 3 minutes of material.

        • Dubbbz

          I have heard the Modorra one, and it rules.

        • Howard Dean

          I think we need a Shitfucker/Shitgrinder split next.

          • Haha! I’ll take new Shitfucker alone. Nuke has been taking higher priority over Shitfucker I guess though. Hopefully next year.

          • Howard Dean

            I like that Nuke album quite a bit. I’ve been playing it a lot since you recommended it to me. Just a great no frills thrash/speed record. Sleazy and fast and good.

      • Also, not sure if you heard but there is new Roskopp material going to be released this year. Finally!

      • You and me both, check out Chepang dubs. That’s tops for me in the grind realm right now.

        • Dubbbz

          Yes, i really enjoyed that one.

        • I heard that the other day. That indeed does rip.

          • They are playing in NYC next month, two drummers, I kinda want to check that out.

          • Pagliacci is Kvlt

            If that’s the show with Black Table and Foehammer, do it.

          • Bleak and Sunrot as well.

          • Wow, that’s impressive dual blasting would be fucking hard to pull off.

    • 365ChaosRiddenDays

      I need to check some of these names except for Enucleator, Prisoner of War, Blood Chalice, Pigs Blood, Ifrinn, Eucharist and Celestial Grave.

      • Check out Oligarch. It’s really savage blackened death metal from Australia with a female vocalist. I never would have known unless I looked it up.

        • 365ChaosRiddenDays

          I’m listening now “Hypocrisy Oath” and is raw and savage, very good!

    • Elegant Gazing Globe

      they have a really stupid name but the tunes on this EP are pretty swell –

      • I don’t think I’ve heard of this one. Will check out for sure. Added to the wishlist.

        • Elegant Gazing Globe

          it’s straight up MA worship

    • Howard Dean


      • That whole release (Both bands) is the most devastating shit I’ve ever heard. Konflict just put together video for one of their songs. Shit is intense.

        • Howard Dean

          Yeah, that is one violent ass split. I think I dig the RotUGF side a little bit more than the Konflict side, but my fuck that entire split is a dickcrusher.

          The RotUGF side of their split with Xenophobic Ejaculation is equally brutal and violent. I’m not huge on power electronics, so the XE side doesn’t do much for me, but Reek… is just brutal as fuck. Crazy Japanese bastards!

          • Shit, I totally forgot about that split and I own it. The Xenophobic Ejaculation side is pretty dumb. I can’t stand power electronics, but that RotUGF material is top notch. They bring the riffs hard, where as Konflict are more straight up grinding bestial.

          • Howard Dean

            Yeah, I think that’s why I prefer the RotUGF side to the Konflict one. They pull out these razor sharp riffs every so often to supplement the blasting. But there’s no denying the oppressiveness of Konflict. Fuck that’s heavy stuff.

    • Abradolf Lincler

      forgetting that Drudkh split

      also, if you havent blasted this yet get on it:

      • Howard Dean

        Also: Literally just remembered that Nokturnal Mortum and Graveland did a split earlier this year. Totally forgot about it ’til you mentioned Drudkh. The NM side was very “Voice of Steel”-esque and was better than the Graveland side in my opinion.

        • Shit, I still need to listen to that one. I’m honestly not into newer Graveland, but I’m willing to try it anyways. That Veles/Legion split is great though! It technically came out years ago, but it finally got a proper reissue this year. Darker than Black is finally starting to release some good shit again. They were on hold for a while this year.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            im of the same opinion with yours on Graveland, but also with NM. If the split is a return to form i will check it tho

      • Yeah, still need to listen to this one.

    • Xinen

      Definitely not dumb, you’ve gotten me to buy quite a few of the titles mentioned through several threads. I’d actually enjoy greater coverage of stuff the likes of which you and Howard Dean post.

  • IronLawnmower

    EP’s are fantastic for my short millenial attention spa

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    I really like Eggper’s use of the envelope filter on these tracks

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    I love EPs. One of my favorite releases last year was Slaegt’s Beautiful and Damned and this year Wasteland Riders’ Speed Rock n Roll EP is enjoying its spot at number 3 on my list while the new Solstice demo sits a few spots below it.

    If the music is quality and you listen to it more than other things, then yes they deserve as much credit as any full length. I will not disregard music simply because it isn’t as long as others.

    • Dubbbz

      That Slaegt EP was killer!

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        So good I feel the
        Need to write a haiku for
        You oh gracious Dubbbz

        • Abradolf Lincler

          that wax is still floating around the interwebs if you want it and havent grabbed it

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            I need to. I actually feel kinda bad that i haven’t bought it yet.

    • Slaegt >>>>>>>>>
      -Link (well, most people, but he would normally chime in here)

  • Eliza

    I prefer long releases to short ones, so I wouldn’t be excited if started putting out more EPs, even if an artist or band could record and release more of those in the same amount of time it’d take to work on a full length.

    • I tend to like releases that are in the 15 to 30 minute range. I have a short attention span so I prefer a swift dick crushing, apposed to say, a long drawn out dick crush.

      • Eliza

        Everyone needs that once in a while.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I think a well placed EP is crucial for bands. Look at this year with Gorguts and their 1 song EP. Their idea was better executed releasing it by itself. Instead of bloating an album with a lopsided long track, they can get it out of their system and construct a more balanced full length.

      Note: this is all speculation, i have no clue what Gorguts is actually thinking

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Also Note: i love albums with a gugantic track on one side. 2112!!!

      • Eliza

        I agree, that Gorguts EP was brilliant. To me, an EP is a way to showcase ideas, which are to be fully developed on the LP.

  • My preference is for releases to be shorter in general. 30-35 minutes tops for an album. 15min or less for an EP. Cut out all the stupid intros, outros and other stupid filler and play yer damn songs!!!!

    • Never thought I’d be praising a band for releasing a short album, but I end up doing exactly that every time. Old age I guess.

      No, it’s not old age. Albums don’t ever need to be longer than 60 minutes, and 50 is pushing it. You’re spot on HMD!

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        I think if bands stick to a length that fits on 1 LP (not saying it has to be on vinyl, just the length is spot on) then it is good for all, 18-21 minutes for each side so maxing at 45 minutes for an album is perfect.

  • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

    Be sure to check out the new Janitor Jim Duggan release when you get a few minutes.

    • Howard Dean

      “Sharts in my Ass” has been stuck in my head for days.

      • Abradolf Lincler

        still waiting for JJD/KJU poop themed split ep

      • I want to do a split with JJD.

        • Howard Dean

          Or do a collaboration: You doing D-Beat and necro one foot blasts with Janitor Jim doing spoken word soliloquys about pro wrestling pay per view events from the mid-90’s and his favored fast food restaurants in Poughkeepsie .

          I’d pick up the CD-r.

        • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

          ++++++ would buy

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff


  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    EPs and demos are getting the job done for me lately.

  • The new Godmother EP is just 3 tracks and they all rip, I do wish it was 5 tracks because it’s on the short side, still good nonetheless.

    • Waynecro

      GOD MOTHER!!!

  • Waynecro

    This EP sounds pretty sweet. Thanks for the excellent review, Dubs!