By Matt Hinch
I would hope you already know who Colin Marston is. Known for his incredible work in Behold the Arctopus, Dysrhythmia, Krallice and most recently Gorguts, he created something before any of that. That something was Indricothere. Started out of his dorm room, Indricothere was thought to be dead and buried. Not so, dear readers. Earlier this year Marston resurrected this solo project to bring us II. Marston performed everything on the instrumental album. Guitar and bass obviously himself on actual instruments, and he programmed all the drums. What results is a multi-textured, multi-layered and highly unpredictable journey.
For much of the 38 plus minutes Marston blazes away with ungodly speed and the fingers of ten men. His fretwork is constantly pushing the boundaries of comprehension. It almost feel like he’s channeling some unknown force to make a reality out of his artistic sonic vision. Complicated melodies and downright madness collide with dramatic pauses and breaks, leaving a mangled cinematic wall of noise where once there was only wildly firing synapses.
Much of II feels very dark and emotionally heavy. The shifts from frantic, almost as if in flight, to mean, menacing and monolithic, or more tempered, open beauty can often be abrupt, but Marston pulls it off seamlessly. Schizophrenic but natural. It’s a totally incalculable formula that provides highly dramatic results.
Marston twists and turns riffs, melodies and weirdness on edge and forces them together. Sometimes at complete odds with each other and unified at others, erupting together, thrust from the earth with terrifying might. Caught in the shadow of Marston’s dexterity and talent, the listener is forced to actively pay attention to the layers piling on each other. Every listen reveals new found depth, or a flash of notes that makes your head spin.
For all the insanity, noodling, drudgery, and drum machine craziness, the track “XI” sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s a quiet synth driven ambient piece. (He also released an ambient/drone album this year titled XI.) Haunting and peaceful at the same time, it’s a stark contrast to the rest of II. The ominous “IX” features some strange bagpipe-like noise as well but it follows more closely to the demented frenzy found throughout the album.
Indricothere are most definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Lacking an attention span for the most part, II will turn away the more traditional audience. But for those with more adventurous tastes, II serves as a testament to the unfathomable talent that resides in Colin Marston. Genius like this doesn’t come along very often. His ability toe “wow” the listener and create such dramatic music, that level of expression, without uttering a single word, is not to be missed.