Chamber music is, by definition, classical music played by a small group of instruments, where each member has its own independent partition to play. For example, string quartets and your usual metal band can, technically, be considered chamber music groups. Due to the minimalistic nature of the formula, it’s where we see the most experimentation happen. Indeed, it’s easier to gather a few people to play weird, boundary-breaking music than to convince a whole orchestra to do the same. Texan band Vmthanaachth is a quintet comprised of two guitars, a viola, and two saxophones. That is, according to some pictures taken at a show they played recently. There are more instruments than this on their new album, Inferotemporal; I hear bass guitar, piano, and cello too. It’s difficult to know if these are played by the same people or by new members because the band’s social media presence is quite limited. However many they are, Vmthanaachth play some really avant-garde classical music. Almost akin to an abstract horror movie soundtrack, Inferotemporal‘s over an hour long runtime is sure to make your bones twist and squeak. As you must already have heard by our stream of ‘Holographic Speleothems Firsting a Hugeness of Twilight’, they can easily be called dissonant, avant-garde, and experimental. The rest of the album shows no mercy either, and begs the question ‘How much of this is improvised?’, to which there is no clear or known answer. Inferotemporal is a worthy successor to Fit secundum regulam (go buy a compact disc now! It’s really cheap and there are only nine left), the album that introduced me to the group and still sends shivers down my bone marrow. Hopefully, you will be able to venture into the obscure unknown and let yourself be guided by Vmthanaachth into barely-trod paths.
A review copy has been sent to us for this review.