By Jonathan Smith
Any metal band named after partners in the symbiote relationships that make up our bodies is bound to perk interest. The fact that Victoria, B.C.-based Mitochondrion produce music that is also a relentless and tiring combination of death and black metal is a major plus. Parasignosis is the band’s first full-length release on a label like Profound Lore, and if it’s that relationship which has enabled the efforts found here, then hopefully it will continue. To refer to the band’s music as “tiring” is a compliment — Mitochondrion’s sophomore album is an exhausting ride. Its intertwined layers invoke both the messiness and complexity of the human body itself.
Parasignosis demands the listener’s full attention and requires multiple listens in order to be able to sort out the nuances found within its lumbering wall of sound. The fact there are barely breaks between the songs (themselves of varying and often odd lengths) reinforces the fact that this album is best experienced in its entirely with good speakers or headphones while allowing your thoughts to be pulverized. There’s a definite stew of blackened death metal here, with shrill tremolo rifts penetrating the deep blasts of both bass and drums (both clearly audible and playing a major role). Two sets of vocals, one a deep sewer gurgle style and the other slightly more blackened in its pitch, intertwine their way through the music. Whenever the music finally does pause, it is usually in the middle of a track and often acts merely as a quick chance to catch half a breath before things ramp up again. Ending on a lengthy, different, but welcome ambient/noise metal note, Parasignosis is one of the strongest combinations of black and death metal I’ve heard in a while. It remains to be seen whether Mitochondrion can reproduce such layers of sound in a live setting. People should welcome the opportunity to find out.