Geryon Find the Wounds Among Their Bows

Edmund Wilson’s The Wound and the Bow takes its title from Sophocles’ telling of the Greek hero Philoctetes. As summarized  by Geryon bassist and vocalist Nick McMaster,

Philoctetes is from Homer; he’s the best archer the Greeks have (having been given a bow that never misses by Hercules) but he suffers a snakebite on the way to Troy that leaves a permanent, festering wound, which smells so bad the Greeks abandon him on an island (though they come back for him years later when they realize they need his skill to win the war).

Wilson’s essay uses the dual nature of Philoctetes–talented but maimed–to posit a general link between psychological trauma and creativity, suggesting this is a common type throughout human history. It is in this sense that we use the title: The Wound And The Bow, two sides of the same coin, humanity as the vessel which transmutes suffering into art.

Geryon, a duo comprised of McMaster and drummer Lev Weinstein (both current members of Krallice and formerly of Astomatous), could not have picked a more apt work around which to base their sophomore album. Geryon are an immensely talented duo at their core, yet The Wound and the Bow is far from a perfect album.

In Krallice, Weinstein and McMaster back up with Colin Marston and Mick Barr’s guitars with ceaseless blasts and churning basslines. On The Wound and the Bow, they tread familiar waters, to their detriment. The duo’s playing styles are perfectly suited to a rhythm section, where McMaster can leave space between the notes that will be filled by tremolo picking and unending blast beats, but on their own they miss a crucial element. The presence of guitars is not missed, as the space is filled by McMaster’s ringing notes played high on the neck. The missing piece is simply the sense of compositional urgency conveyed by their work in Krallice. Quite frankly, many of the songs are just not particularly exciting.

Geryon perform best in extremes: standout tracks like “Dioscuri” and “Legion” work so well because the duo embrace shifting riffs based on more complex rhythmic figures, whereas “Lys” is made all the more effective by its droning main riff. Unfortunately, several other songs simply inhabit a middle ground, never quite going all the way in either direction.

Of course, the album is not without its merits. When Geryon play to their strengths, as on the aforementioned “Dioscuri,” they prove themselves capable of crafting memorable, singular death metal. Both players deliver technically astounding performances throughout the album, and Weinstein’s precision and stamina are particularly deserving of praise. Their idiosyncratic approach to writing semi-technical death metal is wholly unique to them and their vision uncompromising. All Geryon really need is an editor; this album’s strongest material easily stacks up against its predecessor, and if this album were trimmed slightly to focus on those songs it could stand tall next to anything else the duo has created in any number of groups.

3.5/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

NEW_TOILETSCALE_3-5_of_5

The Wound and the Bow is out now on Profound Lore.

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Published on: April 14, 2016

Filled Under: Metal, Reviews

Views: 1219

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  • BALLS ROLL

    this is difficult to listen to

  • Dubs

    Based on the tracks I’ve heard, I agree totally with this review. The parts are immensely rewarding, but as a whole, the final product is just kind of there.

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    I have a hard time getting down with metal or experiment or noise rock acts that lack guitars, Lightning Bolt and Twin Lords are two other guitarless bands that come to mind.

    • Dubs

      Radiation Blackbody is another.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        It’s weird based on how much other outside the box stuff I like.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        That’s cool stuff

    • Count_Breznak

      Does Morkobot count as guitarless ?

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        I’m not familiar with them. Do they have guitar players, or guitars that sound nothing like guitars… ?

    • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

      Do you enjoy OM?

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        Is that drone? I feel like maybe I have listened to them… if it’s drone I think there is a time and a place for it but I don’t listen to it very often at all.

        • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

          I guess they fall into the category. Bassist and drummer from Sleep

  • Question: what makes this record “semi-technical death metal”? I can tell there is a lot of math going on that I don’t understand, but it seems pretty far removed from the widdly-diddly purple artwork of tech death.

    • Spear

      That math that you don’t understand would be the semi-technical part. Tech death isn’t just about being good at your instrument and approaching sanic levels of fast, though that’s the part a lot of bands decide to focus on (and writers, so I guess I’m partially responsible for perpetuating the stereotype).

      • In your defense, I perpetuate bad stereotypes of latinos with my constant self-racism and complains, so you’re not a bad Spear. But, that’s another story.

      • Dubs

        This is why I’ve been saying we need to split tech death into two genres so bands like Gorguts and bands like Rings of Saturn aren’t lumped into the same heading.

        • Spear

          but they’re both full of unpleasant noises

          • Dubs

            That applies to most of our screamy music.

          • Metal is unpleasant, even for metalheads.

          • Spear

            I know, I’m just being a knob.

          • Dubs

            I don’t think a knob will pierce armor.

          • PIERCE ARMOR WITH KNOB

          • CyberneticOrganism

            You cannot do that here.

          • Spear

            *self-deprecating joke about never having been very sharp in the first place*

          • YOU MUST USE THE KEY TO USE THE KNOB
            *PRESS YY TO USE KEY*

          • Dubs

            [Door is locked]

          • SMASH DOOR WITH PLUNGER

          • CyberneticOrganism

            You cannot use that here.

          • **PRESS X TO USE TACO DILDO**

          • CyberneticOrganism

            PRESS B TO EQUIP TACO WITH CILANTRO

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            BBBBBBBBBBBBB

          • CyberneticOrganism

            PRESS Y TO BATHE IN CILANTRO FOUNTAIN

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            YYYYYYYYYY

          • Dubs

            [You have died of dysentery]

          • You win, W. YOU WIN. hahahaaaaaa

          • CyberneticOrganism

            PRESS B TO CURSE DYSENTERY AND SHAKE FIST AT SKY

          • BROTHERS ERRRVERYWHERE, SHAKE YOUR FISTS INTO THE AIR, WE ARE WARRIORS- WARRIORS OF THE RUNS.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            Hahahahhahahahahahaha
            hahahahahahahahahahaha
            hahahahahahahahahahaha!
            I’m dying right now.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            BBBBBBBB

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            NOOOOOOOOOO!
            *tosses keyboard out of window

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          Oh no no no, we don’t need more subgenres!

          • Dubs

            I disagree with you. Categorization leads to precision when discussing specific sounds and styles.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            How about dissonant tech death versus … ?

          • Spear

            Space’n’shit tech

          • Dubs

            Works for me. Or stick with what Joey said.

          • I take it back. RoTS would def be vapetech.

          • Dubs

            Mandalatech vs. vapetech

        • brotech vs nerdtech

        • I tend to categorize heavily dissonant composing bands like Gorguts or Artifical Brain as Avant-Garde Merol.

  • Colin Marston stood next to me during the Nunslaughter set at MDF a few years back. I look as slim as him now.

    • Sorry, that’s all I got.

    • Dubs

      He’s a pretty small dude.

      • Truly is. I think he lived in Baltimore at the time or Washington DC. I can’t remember, maybe he still does.

  • JWEG

    I probably should have known there was a Greek myth antecedent for the name Geryon, but my first thought was of “Fraud” in the Divine Comedy.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/31/Geryon.jpg

    • Dubs

      The Dore engraving is on their previous release.

      • JWEG

        That’s reason enough for me to dig further.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Recordings from the Avant Garde Guitar Center

  • Hail C., from the Molenaar House! He who conquers the craftmanship of wording through abstract noises.

  • Waynecro

    Thanks so much for the informative, thoughtful review!

    • RJA

      Seriously. The writers for this site put a ton of thought/effort into this stuff – way more than I can find at any other site covering metal. It’s fantastic and sometimes a little depressing that I do nothing for the site!

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        … you totes could. Other than an expectation of a certain level of quality, they let pretty much anyone write for this rag.

        • RJA

          Yes, I need to do something. Finding the time as with anything else in life.

          • Stanley

            Yes, you do. More Black Metal would be appreciated. Hop to it.

          • I always thought we needed more Glam Metal!!!

          • Stanley

            Yes. That too.

          • Stanley

            Link, you obviously didn’t see me roll my eyes when I typed that.

          • Stanley, you obviously didn’t see me roll my eyes when looking for that pic.

          • Stanley

            Link, we are obviously missing each other’s obvious jokes.

          • Stanley

            I’m just gonna sit here quietly and eat my lunch. Carry on.

          • Dubs

            I hope it’s your weekly burrito.

          • Stanley

            Ha ha. That’s tonight before the show. I normally have salad for lunch.

          • I’m listening Decapitated’s Wind of Creation title song and having my stomach like the inside of a washmachine 🙁 I feel dizzy since yesterday.

          • Stanley

            I’m normally like that come 11am. When the sounds of the abyss start eminating from down below, it’s time for sustenance.

        • RJA

          I’m not technologically advanced in any way – do you guys use a particular software to type/map out the articles? I guess I can always send Joe my handwritten drafts in the mail!

        • CT-12

          Yo Edward, do you still live in Minnesota? I’m gonna head up there next month, wondering if you’d be down to meet up, see a show or something.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Heck yeah I do!

            When are you coming into town?

            I work kind of a ridiculous schedule, full time weekends, but my weeks are fairly open at the moment…

          • CT-12

            My email is tracycaco@yahoo.com; could you send me an email and I’ll respond with details?

      • Well, if it wasn’t for the readers, we would be writing a personal journal 😛

        Your input is always welcomed. We just do our best to share the best thebestthebestthebestthebest of us 🙂

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          Link when you comment on stuff I have written I always feel like it would have better if you just wrote the damn articles, lol

          • Man, I can’t make it good like you! Your writing and choicings helped me a lot to reevaluate my own perceptions of music.

            Also, you made the most beautfiul layouts on the articles with all the text wrapings and shit. I think everyone here can confirm that you’re one of the big players.

            Everyone here is great except Guac because he doesn’t like merol and he doesn’t write too often, according to Dubya.

          • Dubs

            You didn’t need to scratch that last part out.

      • Waynecro

        Indeed. I am always impressed by the awesome writing on this website. Everyone who contributes is just super.

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          Yep! I honestly can’t think of any other site that’s this deep into the research end of things music-wise and not overly opinionated about it.

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        I submitted my thing for Sunday Sesh, and it’s my first ever music article. I’ve done upwards of 75 or more interviews overall since 2002, but this will be the first article, so kinda nervous. Lol, it’s most likely more absurd and obscenely vulgar than informative.

      • Spear

        No reason you couldn’t.

      • Send me $500 and all guilt will be absolved.

        • RJA

          How will you then deal with the guilt of taking $500 dollars from me? I gotta think about you here too.

          • Dubs

            Luckily Joe was born without a conscience.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            He’ll deal with it over many many local brews and a new set of barbells.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            Local brews >>>>>>

          • CyberneticOrganism

            PRESS X TO INQUIRE ABOUT LOCAL BREWS

          • PRESS XXX TO INQUIRE ABOUT LOCAL ENTERTAINERS

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            XXXXXXXXXXXX

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        You’re the only person who says you can’t. Like an old friend (Robert Bustamonte from Fektion Fekler) told me about life: “you just gotta say ‘fuck it’, get in there and fuck without a rubber sometimes”.

      • …watch TovH sell out tomorrow…

  • RJA

    I listened to their first record – I think the concept sounded great in theory but I could never get into it. Nice review though Christian.

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

    The first parts made me think of a much more epic Gilligan’s Island. If only Gilligan or The Skipper were badass archers.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Back in ’07, I had a complete improvisational session with a guitarist I met on CL. It was one session, we recorded it and when I played it for some fellow musicians I remember getting this attitude about it just being a silly jam session. It’s just funny how now (obviously more practiced & honed in material) solo acts get viewed as legit releases with reviews and shit. I’m not saying my shit is/was as good but for a one off quasi-experimental improv I thought it was pretty stellar and ahead of its time. If I do say so myself…

    http://redfizz.com/rf/song.aspx?songid=346689

  • Drums: 10/10
    Guitars: 7/10
    Bass Guitar Sounding Tone Thing: 2/10
    Feels: 8/10
    Vocals: Great/10

    Very much enjoying this.

    GL

    • I’m glad you like it! I feel my review may have focused too much on the flaws, but I really did enjoy this album.

      • Each song flows and is interesting. Which can be difficult for instrumental (mostly) tunes, imho.

  • Joaquin Stick

    I haven’t really read much in the way of Greek mythology since high school, but some of the events that take place in them are pretty dang humorous when you actually stop to think about it. “Dude, your wound smells like butt, you live on this island now. Ta ta!”

    • Dubs

      I forgot to sacrifice this bull Poseidon gave me, so he got mad and made my wife bang the bull. She had a bull baby that started eating people, and I couldn’t figure out how to kill it so I trapped it in our hedge maze.

      • -Proverbs 3:13

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          Wrong. That was in Austin 3:16. Duh!

          Or was that Austin City Limits 3:16? I forget.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      “Fuck bro, you stink. Laterz lol.”

    • Zeus fucks everything, the end

  • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

    This was a very good review, I enjoyed how honest you were in both critiques and praises.

    I like the mytholigical basis of the album, but I can’t give it a listen just yet

  • Spear

    Stockhausen’s blurb on this piqued my interest, but forgot about it in the shuffle of the past week. This is pretty interesting stuff; I’m impressed at how much space three voices manage to fill. I probably won’t sit with this for more than a listen or two, but I’m glad you gave us a full review, C-Mole.